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Full text of "The Book of Sufi Chivalry (Kitab al-Futuwwah) by Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Sulami"














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J^ 'try ^W ^ U* ^ 




Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Sulami 
Translated by Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti 


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Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data 

Sulami, Muhammad ibn al-Husayn, d. 1021. 
The Sufi book of chivalry. 

Translation ofr Futuwah. 

I. Sufism-Early works to 1800. 2. Futuwwa 

(Islamic order)— Early works to 1800 
I. Title. 

BP189.6.S8813 297'.4 82 2943 
ISBN 0-89281-031-9 ' AACR2 

Printed in the United States of America. 


Translator's Note 


On Sulami and His Times 
On Futuwwah 


Isnad: The Chain of Authorities of Transmission 

Part One 
Part Two 
Part Three 
Part Four 
Part Five 








Isnad to the Text 



This is the first English translation of Sulami's Kitab ai- 
fmuwwah. It is based on the original Arabic text, taken from a 
manuscript in the library of the Hagia Sophia Museum in 
Istanbul (vol. 2049, folio 78a-99a). The English translation, 
although true to the meaning of the original, required some 
changes in vocabulary and grammatical structure in order to 
make it easier to read and more comprehensible to the 
Western reader. For similar reasons, the citation of authori- 
ties of transmission has been simplified (see the Isnad 
following the text). 

My thanks are due to my revered master, teacher, and 
guide along the way to Truth, Sheikh Muzaffer Ozak al- 
Jerrahi al-Halveti, who taught me, according to my humble 
capacity, the Futuwwah and everything else I know. May God 
grant him long life to be a blessing for all seekers of Truth. 
I wish to acknowledge my gratefulness to Professor 
Suleyman Ates, whose Turkish translation of this book has 
been of the greatest assistance. 

May God be pleased with Zaineb Istrabadi, who reviewed 
the manuscript; with Zehra Lowenthal, who checked the 
English and typed the manuscript; with Claudine Fisher and 
Kendra Crossen, who edited it; with Rabia Harris, who typed, 
transliterated, and made corrections in the translation, all 
with careful attention to important details; and with all my 
dervishes, who inspired me to translate this work in order to 
help them become what God meant Man to be. 


We hope that this book will be beneficial For those who 
are involved in Islam and Sufism in the West. This humble 
servant of God prays that these words find their mark. May 
the readers find wisdom and salvation, and may God grant His 



Abu 'Abdul-Rahman Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn Mu- 
hammad ibn Musa ibn Khalid ibn Salim ibn Rawia al-Sulami 
was born on April 16 in the year 936 C.E. (A.H. 325) in 
Nishapur, and met his Lord on November 3, 1021 (A.H. 412) 
in the same city. 

His father, al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Musa, a well- 
known Sufi teacher, initiated Sulami into Islamic mysticism 
during the boy's early childhood. Ibn Musa later left his 
family and retired to Mecca. From that time onward, Sulami 
lived with and learned from his maternal grandfather, 'Arnr 
Isma'il ibn Nujayd, who was considered one of the greatest 
theologians of his time. The wealthy grandfather became a 
father, teacher, and benefactor to Sulami. The depth of the 
relationship is reflected in the grandson's taking the name 
Sulami, which was the name of his mother's tribe (Sulaym). 
Ibn Nujayd kept the young Sulami by his side during lectures 
and discussion that he held with other great men of the time. 

Sulami's traditional education began with the memorizing 
of the Koran. He then studied with grammarians and literary 
men, and became a great transmitter of Prophetic traditions 
and interpreter of the Koran. t 

He traveled to many cities of Khorasan and Turkestan, to 
Iraq and to the Hijaz (Arabia). Although he did not record any 


visits to Syria or Egypt, he seems to have intimately known 

the countries between Samarkand and Balkh to the east and 

Cairo and Mecca to the west. Apparently he did not travel in 

countries west of Egypt or the Maghrib (North Africa and 

Spain), as he rarely mentions the Sufi saints of these lands. 

During his travels, Sulami collected the wisdom of many 

saints, and later he quoted them in his works, specifically in 

&ke Tabaqat al-sufiyyah (Classes of Sufis), where he mentions 

•«ne hundred and five Sufis and their teachings. In Baghdad 

and Mecca he methodically interviewed many Sufi teachers, 

and it was in those cities that he gathered most of his 


In addition to the wisdom gathered from knowledgeable 
Sufis of his time, Sulami also learned from the writings of his 
grandfather and from the vast library that he inherited from 
the older man. Many of the saints mentioned in Sulami's 
books were themselves authors, although most of their work 
has not survived the passage of time. 

The mystical movement that created Sufism culminated in 
the ninth and tenth centuries (A.H. third and fourth 
centuries). By the year 996 (A.H. 386) a Sufi named Talib al- 
Makki reported that Junayd, who died in 909 (A.H. 297), was 
the last true representative of Sufism. In his Risalah or Essay 
(1045 C.E.; A.H. 437), al-Qushayri, a student of Sulami's, 
wrote complaining that Sufism and religion were coming to 
an end. Such complaints, which continue today, seem by their 
very existence to contradict themselves, although it is true 
that Sufism reached its peak at about the time of the 
martyrdom of Hallaj, who made the famous declaration "I am 
(he Truth" in 922 (A.H. 309). His execution epitomized the 
violent confrontation between the shari'ah (the orthodoxy 


that dominated Islam) and the tariqah (mysticism), but did not 
end the struggle, although this tragedy helped to bring 
orthodoxy and mysticism closer together. We can see in the 
teachings of Sulami, Qushayri, Imam Ghazali, and 'Abdul- 
Qadir al-Jilani, that it created a fusion of the inner and outer 
aspects of Islam, producing the union and interdependence of 
shari'ah and tariqah. Sulami was a pioneer in his attempt to 
establish this synthesis, a union not only of orthodoxy and 
mysticism, but also of the divergent disciplines within Sufism. 
A new science, 'ilm al-tasawwuf, the science of Sufism, was 
created, one that gathered data on the mystical experience of 
various saints and the schools they represented. These 
experiences are substantiated by the support of the Koran and 
the Sunnah (practice) of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.).* According to 
this science, there are three distinct levels of knowledge: first 
is 'ilm al-yaqin, knowledge through information; second, 'ayn 
al-yaqin, knowledge, through experience; and third and 
highest, haqq al-yaqin, true knowledge through being. A code 
of conduct for the daily life of the Sufis was established in all 
its aspects, social, economic, and psychological. The propaga- 
tor of the knowledge had to live by this code and experience 
its three levels. The three most important books written on 
the subject are Kitab al-luma' by Nasr al-Tusi al-Sarraj (d. 988 
C.E.; A.H. 378), one of Sulami's teachers; Tabaqat al-sufiyyah 
by Sulami (1021 C.E.; A.H. 412); and the Risalah of 'Abdul- 
Karim al-Qushayri (d. 1074 C.E.; A.H. 46S). These works 
became textbooks for posterity. 

The abbreviation "s.a.w.s. " stands for salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "May 
Allah commend and salute him," an honorific phrase that accompanies 
mention of the Prophet Muhammad. 


These texts of Sufi wisdom, collected by Sulami and other 
saints who were his contemporaries, gained great importance 
and reputation, and they even began to be used in mosques, 
where previously only Hadith (the traditions of the Prophet, 
s.a.w.s.) and the Holy Koran had been taught. The sheikhs 
taught this science of conscious being not as an abstract 
philosophy but as a way of life supported by the doctrine of 
Islamic orthodoxy, 

Sulami's Book of Sufi Chivalry is such a teaching, synthesiz- 
ing the unification of orthodox and mystical paths. This code 
of Sufi morals proposes to lead man to consciousness and 
perfection. It reveals the true meaning of compassion, love, 
friendship, generosity, self-denial, hospitality, and the right 
actions associated with these virtues. 


Futuwwah is the way of the fata. In Arabic, fata literally 
means a handsome, brave youth. After the enlightenment of 
Islam, following the use of the word in the Holy Koran, fata 
(plural: fityan) came to mean the ideal, noble, and perfect 
man whose hospitality and generosity would extend until he 
had nothing left for himself; a man who would give all, 
including his life, for the sake of his friends. According to the 
Sufis, Futuwwah is a code of honorable conduct that follows 
the example of the prophets, saints, sages, and the intimate 
friends and lovers of Allah. 

The traditional example of generosity is the prophet 
Abraham, peace be upon him, who readily accepted the 
command to sacrifice his son for Allah's sake. He is also a 
model of hospitality who shared his meals with guests all his 


life and never ate alone. The prophet Joseph, peace be upon 
him, is an example of mercy, for he pardoned his brothers, 
who tried to kill him, and a model of honor, for he resisted 
the advances of a married woman, Zulaykha, who was 
feminine beauty personified. The principles of character of 
the four divinely guided caliphs, the successors of the Prophet 
Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, also served as 
guides to Futuwwah; the loyalty of Abu Bakr, the justice of 
'Umar, the reserve and modesty of 'Uthman, and the bravery 
of 'AH, may Allah be pleased with them all. 

The all- encompassing symbol of the way of Futuwwah is 
the divinely guided life and character of the final prophet, 
Muhammad Mustafa, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon 
him, whose perfection is the goal of Sufism. The Sufi aims to 
abandon all improper behavior and to acquire and exercise, 
always and under all circumstances, the best behavior proper 
to human beings; for God created man "for Himself" as His 
"supreme creation," "in the fairest form." As He declares in 
His Holy Koran, "We have indeed honored the children of 

The following stories take place in the time of the 
caliphate of 'Umar ibn al-Khattab (r.a.a.),* the second of the 
divinely guided caliphs who governed after the Prophet 
(s.a.w.s.), who himself married 'Umar's daughter. Known as 
al-'Adil, the Just, 'Umar was a true inspiration of virtue, a 
knight and warrior during whose rule Syria, Iraq, Iran, and 
Egypt were added to the Islamic dominions. He was humble 
and wore patched clothes. He never sat on a throne, and he 

*The abbreviation "r.a.a." stands for tadiya Allahu 'anhu, "May Allah be 
well pleased with him," the prayer attached to the names of the 
companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.). 


ate at the same table with his servants. He was true to his 
word, generous, loyal, and a symbol of strength who inspired 
fear in the hearts of the enemies of Truth. 

Hazrat 'Umar reported: 

One day the Messenger of Allah asked us for 
donations. The desire came to me to surpass Abu Baler, 
who had always been ahead of me in every good deed. I 
brought a fortune representing half of all I possessed and 
came to the presence of the Prophet (s.a.w.s,), and told 
our Master that my donation was half of all that I had, 
and the other half I had left for the support of my 
family. Abu Bakr came in with a large sack of gold and 
placed it at the feet of our Master. Our Master asked 
him what percentage of his wealth his donation 
represented. He answered, "All of it." Then the 
Messenger of Allah, looking at me, asked Abu Bakr, 
"Why haven't you kept anything for your children?" 
Abu Bakr answered, "My children are in the care of 
Allah and His Messenger." 

After that incident Abu Bakr was not visible for a few 
days, and did not appear at the mosque of the Prophet 
(s.a.w.s). Feeling a void in the absence of Abu Bakr, the 
Prophet asked his whereabouts. The companions an- 
swered that Abu Bakr had distributed all his possessions 
and that he had nothing to wear except a piece of cloth, 
which he shared with his wife, each of them using it 
alternately to wrap themselves at the time of prayer. At 
that time the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked Bilal al-Habashi to 
go to the house of the Prophet's daughter, Fatimah, and 
ask her if she had an extra piece of cloth that could be 


brought to Abu Bakr so that he could clothe himself and 
come to the mosque. All that the noble Fatimah had was 
one extra piece of cloth made of goat hair. When Abu 
Bakr wrapped it around his waist, it was too short. So he 
sewed some date palm leaves to it so that he could cover 
himself decently, and took the road to the mosque. 
Before he arrived, Gabriel appeared to our Master in 
the same unseemly outfit that Abu Bakr was wearing. 
When the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said to Gabriel that he had 
never seen him in such strange clothes, Gabriel replied 
that today all the angels in heaven were so dressed to 
honor Hazrat Abu Bakr, the loyal, generous, and 
faithful. Allah Most High was sending blessings and 
salutations to Abu Bakr. Gabriel said: "Tell him his 
Lord is pleased with Him if he is pleased with his Lord." 
When Abu Bakr came into the presence of our Master 
and heard the good news from the lips of the beloved 
Prophet (s.a.w.s.), he got up, thanked Allah, said, 
"Indeed I am pleased with my Lord!" and in his joy 
whirled around three times. 

(It is in this way that the whirling dervishes whirl today.) 

One day, during the caliphate of Hazrat 'Umar, while he 
was sitting with his companions, three noble and beautiful 
young men entered his presence. Two of them said, "We two 
are brothers. While our father was working in his field, he 
was killed by this young man, whom we have brought to you 
for justice. Punish him according to God's Book." The caliph 
turned to the third young man and asked him to speak. 

"Although there were no witnesses, Allah, the Ever- 


Present, knows they are telling the truth," said the accused. 
"1 regret very much that their father found death at my 
hands. I am a villager. I arrived in Medina this morning to visit 
the tomb of our Prophet, may Allah commend and salute 
him. At the outskirts of the city I got off my horse to take 
ablution. My horse started eating from the branch of a date 
tree that was hanging over a wall. As soon as I noticed this, I 
pulled my horse away from the branch- At that moment an 
angry old man approached with a big stone in his hand. He 
threw the stone at my horse's head, killing it instantly. Since I 
loved my horse very much, I lost control of myself. I picked 
up the stone and threw it back at the irian. He fell dead. If I 
had wanted to escape, I could have done so, but to where? If I 
do not meet my punishment here, I shall meet an eternal 
punishment in the hereafter. I had not intended to kill this 
man, but he died by my hand. Now the judgment is yours." 

The caliph said, "You have committed murder. According 
to Islamic law, you must receive treatment equal to that 
which you have dispensed." 

Although this was a pronouncement of death, the young 
man kept his composure and calmly said, "So be it. However, 
a fortune has been left in my care to be given to an orphan 
when he comes of age. I buried this fortune for safekeeping. 
Nobody knows where it is but me. I must dig it up and leave 
it in somebody else's care; otherwise the orphan will be 
denied his right. Give me three days to go to my village and 
attend to this duty." 

'Umar replied, "Your request cannot be accorded unless 
somebody takes your place and vouches for your life." 

"O Ruler of the Faithful," said the young man, "I could 
have escaped before if I had wished. My heart is filled with 
the fear of God; be certain I will be back." 



The caliph refused on the basis of the Law, The young man 
looked at the noble companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) who 
were gathered around the caliph. Choosing at random, he 
pointed to Abu Dharr al-Ghifari and said, "This man will be 
the one to vouch for me." Abu Dharr was one of the most 
beloved and respected companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.). 
Without hesitation he agreed to replace the young man. 

The accused was released. On the third day, the two young 
accusers came back to the caliph's court. Abu Dharr was 
there, but not the accused. The accusers said, "O Abu Dharr, 
you vouched for someone you did not know. Even if he does 
not return, we will not leave without receiving the price of 
our father's blood." 

The caliph said, "Indeed, if the young man does not 
return, we will have to apply his punishment to Abu Dharr." 
Hearing this, everyone present began to weep, for Abu Dharr, 
a man of perfect virtue and splendid character, was the light 
and inspiration for all of Medina. 

When the third day had come to an end, the excitement, 
sorrow, and amazement of the people reached their peak. 
Suddenly the young man appeared. He had been running and 
was tired, dusty, and hot. "I am sorry to have worried you," 
he said breathlessly. "Pardon me for arriving at the last 
minute. There was much work to be done, the desert is hot, 
and the trip was long. I am now ready; execute my 

Then he turned to the crowd and said, "The man of faith is 
loyal to his word. The one who fails to keep his word is a 
hypocrite. Who can escape death, which comes sooner or 
later anyway? Did you think I was going to disappear and 
make people say, 'The Muslims do not keep their word 



The crowd then turned to Abu Dharr and asked whether 
he had known of the young man's fine character. He 
answered, "Not at all, but I did not feel that I could refuse 
him when he singled me out, as it would not have been in 
keeping with the laws of generosity. Should 1 be the one to 
make people say that there is no more kindness left in Islam?" 

The hearts of the accusers trembled and they dropped their 
claim, saying, "Should we be the ones to make people say that 
there is no more compassion left in Islam?" 

Ibn 'Abbas, companion of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and his 
cousin, who was known as the wisest man of his time, tells of 
a battle against the nonbelievers, whose army numbered ten 
times that of the Muslims. 

The battle raged a whole day. Both sides had 
casualties in proportion to their numbers. When the 
fighting ceased near sunset, I took a water skin and went 
to the battlefield, which was full of dead and wounded 
men. I heard many among the Muslims groaning and 
asking for water. I approached one dying soldier whose 
lips were parched. As I was about to make him drink, 
we heard another close by begging for water. The 
wounded hero asked me to give the water to the other 
soldier first. When I went to the second man, we heard 
a nearby enemy soldier begging for water. The Muslim 
asked me to first give the water to him. When I had 
served water to the wounded enemy, I returned to the 
Muslim warrior, but he had already drunk the wine of 
martyrdom. I went back to the first soldier, but he too 
had met his Lord. 

Such is the scope of generosity and compassion in Futuwwah. 



Such prominent virtues of Islam as are illustrated in this 
story are based on the behavior of the Prophet Muhammad 
(s.a.w.s.), the members of his family, and the four caliphs 
who inherited his perfect character. This is the foundation of 
the philosophy of Futuwwah. Futuwwah is a state of mind. It 
means placing other people above oneself. It is being 
generous and altruistic. It is self-denial, immunity to 
disappointment, indulgence toward other people's short- 
comings. It is a fearless struggle against tyranny, and above 
all, it is love. Love is the essence of Futuwwah; love of God, 
love of His creation, love of Love. 

Hazrat 'Ali (r.a.a.), the last of the divinely guided caliphs, 
the Lion of Allah, the symbol of knowledge, generosity, and 
loyalty, the father of the grandchildren of the Prophet 
(s.a.w.s.), was also known as the invincible warrior of his 
time. In one battle he had overpowered an enemy warrior and 
had his dagger at the man's throat when the nonbeliever spat 
in his face. Immediately Hazrat 'Ali got up, sheathed his 
dagger, and told the man, "Taking your life is unlawful to 
me. Go away!" The man, who had saved his life by spitting in 
the face of the revered Lion of Allah, was amazed. "O 'Ali," 
he asked, "I was helpless, you were about to kill me, I 
insulted you and you released me. Why?" "When you spat in 
my face," Hazrat 'Ali answered, "it aroused the anger of my 
ego. Had I killed you then it would not have been for the sake 
of Allah, but for the sake of my ego. I would have been a 
murderer. You are free to go. ' ' The enemy warrior, moved by 
the integrity displayed in Hazrat 'Ali, converted to Islam on 
the spot. 

In another of his battles against the unfaithful, Hazrat 'Ali 
encountered a handsome young warrior who moved to attack 



him. His heart filled with pity and compassion for the 
misguided youth. He cried out, "O young man, do you not 
know who I am? I am 'AH the invincible. No one can escape 
from my sword. Go, and save yourself!" The young man 
continued toward him, sword in hand. "Why do you wish to 
attack me?" 'Ali said. "Why do you wish to die?" 

The young man answered, "I love a girl who vowed she 
would be mine if I killed you." 

"But what if you die?" 'Ali asked. 

"What is better than dying for the one I love?" he replied. 
"At worst, would I not be relieved of the agonies of love?" 

Hearing this response, 'Ali dropped his sword, took off his 
helmet, and stretched his neck like a sacrificial lamb. 

Confronted by such an action, the love in the young man's 
heart was transformed into love for 'Ali and the One Whom 
'Ali loved. 

Already during Sulami's lifetime, the principles of brother- 
hood, loyalty, love, and honor derived from the code of Sufi 
chivalry had begun to produce a distinct class of people with 
special social responsibilities. Later, during the reign of 
Caliph al-Nasir al-Din Allah (1180- U2S C.E.; A.H. S7S-622), 
the rank of Futuwwah was accorded to worthy princes and 
dignitaries. Such men were ceremonially dressed in special 
vestments and made to drink from the cup of knighthood. 
The images of the cup and the vestment appeared on their 
coats of arms. The oaths they swore were unconditionally 

In Syria, the members of this brotherhood were responsi- 
ble for the rebellion against the heretical Rafidites. In Asia 
Minor, the brotherhood developed into fraternal communi- 
ties whose members lived in convents under the guidance of a 


sheikh, and often all worked at the same trade. The clothing 
that distinguished them consisted of a cloak, a white woolen 
cap, and shoes particular to them, and each wore a knife in 
his belt. It is reported that they were hospitable to travelers 
and ruthless toward tyrannical rulers. Futuwwah later became 
one of the essential elements in the Islamic guilds. 

The rules of conduct and virtues presented in The Book of 
Sufi Chivalry illuminate the way to the total assimilation of 
Sufism by experiencing and living it. This code of honor leads 
to a state of total consciousness of Truth, not by hearing it or 
by seeing it, but by being it. 

This is the book of adab, perfect behavior, modeled after 
the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). The Sufis see adab as a 
continuous act of devotion, for it is a method of constant 
remembrance of God, an alarm clock ever ringing, reminding 
one that the reason for one's existence is to know, to find, 
and to be with God. As God Himself said to His Prophet, "I 
was a hidden treasure. I loved to be known, so I created 




The Arabic word futuwwah is the keystone of this book, 
which was perhaps the first ever devoted to this subject.' 
Many different definitions of the word are given by the 
spiritual masters cited by Sulami.' This should not surprise 
us, for their aim was not to formulate a universal doctrine, 
but rather to inform the heart, taking into account the 
possibilities and shortcomings of their disciples. Moreover, 
the comments of these master bear the imprint of their 
individual natures and degrees of spiritual attainment. Yet 
despite the multiplicity of viewpoints expressed in their 
words and deeds, all focus on one central notion: that of 
"heroic generosity." 

Sulami has provided us with extraordinary examples of this 
admirable virtue. But from a gnostic, an 'arifbillah, should we 
not expect more than just a lesson in ethical behavior, 
however noble and chivalrous? Haven't these men of God 
more to tell us? Indeed they do, if we are able to perceive the 
subtle meaning of their words. Nevertheless, it was the task 
of later Masters, when cyclical conditions so demanded, to 
elucidate the hidden meaning of these blunt sayings, and even 
to give Futuwwah an institutionalized form. As a result, the 
many contrasts in the interpretations of the term became 
more pronounced— or at least they appeared so on the 
surface. As we shall see, this seeming variance masks a deep 
innate coherence, for in fact, all that pertains to Futuwwah in 
the Islamic tradition is connected with supreme Knowledge. 



At the time that Caliph al-Nasir al-Din Allah ascended to 
the throne in 1180, Islam was weakened by internal strife, 
harassed on all its borders, and on the brink of formidable 
disturbances. Genghis Khan was only thirteen years old then, 
but as early as 1206 he would be recognized as the "universal 
monarch" of the Mongols. Within a few decades, a gradual 
but irreversible tidal wave would submerge the 'Abbasid 
empire, and in 1258, thiry-three years after al-Nasir's death, 
the Mongols would raze Baghdad, its capital. The Mongolian 
threat was still remote in 1 180, but another danger, stemming 
from the West, had already been brewing for a century. The 
first Crusades had begun in 1095, and Jerusalem had fallen to 
the Christians by 1099. Saladin would reconquer this third- 
holiest city of Islam in 1 187, but other crusades would follow 
until the end of the thirteenth century. As the storm was 
gathering on its borders, the caliphate was dying. The Seljuk 
Turks, contesting the caliphs' power, had undermined the 
strength of the institution. Independent dynasties were 
created in Asia Minor, Syria, and Iran. In Egypt, the Fatimid 
anticaliphate had disappeared, but the Ayyubids remained an 
autonomous power. 

This disintegration of the ummah (community of the 
faithful) not only led to the ruin of the caliph's worldly 
power, but also jeopardized the amanah, the "sacred trust" of 
which Islam is the guardian. Al-Nasir, faced with this peril 
during his reign, undertook the task of restoring the 
conditions appropriate to the safekeeping of the amanah. 
Although his failures were numerous and his victories 
precarious in the political and military domains, his efforts 
nevertheless were immense, and he deserves more than mere 
homage to his courage — that is, if one is not satisfied with a 



profane interpretation of history, but wishes instead to 
decipher the interplay of the spiritual forces that ultimately 
determine the true course of events. 

During the two centuries preceding the fall of Baghdad, a 
providential readjustment took place, of which al-Nasir's 
efforts are but a part. J The significance of this gradual 
transformation probably eluded most of the people of that 
time. In any case, it would allow for the transmission of the 
amanah, despite the dislocation of traditional structures, 
which culminated in 12S8 with the extinction of the 'Abbasid 

It was the era of al-Ghazali (d. 1111), the most famous 
reconciler of orthodox and mystical Islam, and of Ibn 'Arabi 
(d. 1240), ai-shaykh al-akbar, the spiritual master par 
excellence. With them appeared the great doctrinal syntheses 
that would guarantee the perpetuity of spiritual teachings, 
which more ancient and allusive modes would not have 
sufficed to preserve. It was also during this era that Sufism 
coalesced, so to speak, from a fluid state to a solid one, and 
became organized into orders, ensuring its survival and its 
ability to act as an anchor in a confused world where entropy 
had brutally accelerated. 

Finally, it was also the time in which Futuwwah was, 
through al-Nasir's initiative, officially institutionalized. In a 
famous article published in 1849, the Orientalist Hammer- 
Purgstall interpreted this event as the birth of a chivalric 
order among the Arabs.* This conclusion, which was based on 
a cursory examination of very few sources, may be excessive 
and may deserve some of the scholarly criticism it received 
later on; nevertheless, the Christian and Islamic institutions 
present striking similarities. For example, in the West, the 



Templars asked a monk, Saint Bernard, to codify the rule of 
their order; in Baghdad, when al-Nasir institutionalized 
Futuwwah, which also had a military vocation, he called upon 
a great Sufi, Shihab al-Din al-Suhrawardi (d. 1234), the 
founder of the order (tariqah) that bears his name, to give it 
its code and ritual. 

The Nasirian Futuwwah expressed the caliph's grand 
design: for him, the reconquest of the lost territories, the 
defense of the threatened borders, and the reestablishment of 
the caliphal authority lost to unruly vassals were meaningless 
if not linked with a spiritual rectification to which the 
military caste had to be associated. Whence the birth, under 
al-Nasir's patronage, of an initiatic, organized order, which 
borrowed Sufi doctrines and methods and linked its initiatic 
chain (sihilah) to the Sufi masters, but possessed its own 
distinct character, such as the ritualized practice of hunting 
and of martial arts. Multiple sources document the hierarchy 
of ranks; the rituals that gave access to each rank (in which an 
important role was given to a symbolic beverage, the cup of 
salted water, as well as to the investiture of the novice with a 
belt comparable in function to the khirqah, the cloak or robe 
of the Sufis); the code of ethics emphasizing honor, 
generosity, and bravery; and the esoteric meaning of this 
"aristocratic" or "courtly" Futuwwah. 4 Al-Nasir's death, the 
succession of mediocre rulers, and, finally, the fall of the 
'Abbasid caliphate, obliterated any hope of restoring a 
traditional Islamic order, centered on what Henri Corbin calls 
"spiritual chivalry." The Nasirian Futuwwah and some of its 
branches continued to survive for a while in Anatolia, for 
example, or in Egypt, where the Mamluk sultan welcomed a 
member of the 'Abbasid family who had been spared in the 



Mongol slaughter, and conferred upon him a nominal 
caliphate. He, in turn, invested the sultan with the "cloak of 
Futuwwah," a ceremony that continued among their succes- 
sors for more than a century. But though the form persisted, 
the spirit had withdrawn and the initial radiance had dulled. 

At the same time, however, another Futuwwah asserted 
itself, a popular one, this time linked to artisanship, and it has 
continued to our times, under different names: fata, in 
Arabic, akhi, in Turkish, and javanmard in Persian, for 
example, all signify an adherent of Futuwwah. The initiatic 
rites of this popular Futuwwah, which include the cup of 
salted water and the investiture of the belt, present many 
similarities to the "aristocratic" Futuwwah, but they also use 
symbolic objects, gestures, and technical terms related to the 
trades. 5 This popular Futuwwah is both distinct from Sufism 
and symbiotically related to it. Like Sufism, it possesses an 
essentially spiritual finality to which are subordinated, at least 
in principle, more visible activities, be they economic, social, 
or political. Both Sufism and Futuwwah are rooted in a 
distant past, and both became structured at about the same 

The word futuwwah is not found in the Arabic language at 
the beginning of Islam. However, it is derived from a very 
ancient word, fata, whose basic meaning is "young man" 
(shabb): one who, though having reached adulthood, has not 
yet arrived at maturity (traditionally achieved at age forty), 
which is the time of plenitude, but also the beginning of 
decline. This meaning of fata includes a heroic connotation 
that has become inseparable from the term futuwwah. The 
ideal fata, who is exemplified by 'Ali, cousin and son-in-law 
of the Prophet, is characterized by selflessness, courage, 
generosity, and honor. 


Proceeding from the external to the internal, 1 have chosen 
to consider first the institutional aspect of Futuwwah. 
Although the characteristics noted so far help us to 
understand what kinds of behavior Futuwwah manifests, they 
have not yet shed direct light on its essence. Before 
continuing, let us first recall that the concepts we are 
discussing are not the product of individual initiative or of 
mere speculation, which, even though expressed in an Islamic 
vocabulary, would ultimately be exogenous aggregates grafted 
onto original Islam. On the contrary, they may be traced to 
the Koranic revelation itself. Thus, the search for scriptural 
support for these doctrines, esoteric practices, or technical 
terms is not just an intellectual game or a clever tactic 
designed to prevent attacks by the ulema, but a sure way to 
reach an understanding of their essential truth (haqiqah). 

The term fata appears often in the Koran. The meditation 
of the people of Futuwwah (ahl al-futuwwah) has always been 
most particularly centered on the occurrence of this word in 
verse 60 of chapter 21 (Surah al-Anbiya', The Prophets), where 
it is applied to Abraham, who has just destroyed the idols 
worshipped by his people and so is about to be cast into the 
furnace by the infidels. 6 In a chapter devoted to Futuwwah in 
his celebrated Risalah, Qushayri, a direct disciple of Sulami's, 
reports a definition of fata inspired by that Koranic episode: 
"The fata is he who breaks the idol." 7 Qushayri immediately 
adds a pithy commentary that leads us to the threshold of the 
mystery of Futuwwah: "And the idol of each man is his ego." 
Here, then, is the metaphysical truth hidden in the sayings of 
the Masters as related by Sulami and others — sayings that 
merely describe the means of access to this truth or the 
effects of it on those who embody it. Therefore, the true 
Futuwwah is nothing more, but nothing less, than man's 




effective realization of his radical ontological indigence and, 
with the destruction of the illusory ego, the unveiling of that 
which is and always will be the Unique Reality. 

Along the path that leads to this end, the fata must first 
learn not to love his ego, and that is why, in the course of his 
novitiate, the sheikh teaches him to love others before 
himself, and God above all. 8 But once the goal has been 
attained, he discovers that the secret of his apprenticeship is 
that he has no ego, and what he loved was but a dream. The 
idol has reverted to nothingness; both "self" and "others" 
cease to exist. For him, the trials of spiritual combat have 
now become, like the furnace to Abraham (Koran 21:69), 
"refreshment and peace" (bardan wa salaman). 

The advent of this irrevocable certitude is marked by an 
initiatic event, often designated as the "opening" or 
"conquest" (fath). 9 This event is indescribable, and its nature 
can only be suggested by recourse to symbol. It is therefore 
significant that some of the symbolic expressions of this 
denouement lead us again to the fata. However, in this last act 
of the quest, in which until now the fata figured as the hero, 
he will be metamorphosed (in the strictest meaning of the 
word) before our very eyes. Having arrived at this ultimate 
stage, the fata in effect is no longer he who seeks, but he who 
is found. 

At the beginning of al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah, the major work 
of the man who, for many Muslims, is the "Seal of 
Muhammadan Sanctity," Ibn 'Arabi describes a meeting in 
Mecca, before the Kaaba, with an enigmatic personage whom 
he calls "the young man" (al-fata). i0 This nameless "young 
man" is described as "he who speaks and is silent" (al- 
mutakallim al-samit), "who is neither dead nor alive" (laysa bi- 



hayyin wa la ma'it). He is at the same time "simple and 
composed" (al-murakkab al-basit); he is "contained by all 
things and contains all things" (al-muhat al-muhit). He 
transcends "the where and the when" that is, space and time. 
He is "the knowledge, the known, and the knowing" (al-'ilm 
wa l-ma'lum wa l-'alim) or "the contemplating and the 
contemplated" (al-sbahid wa 1-mashhud). It is from the 
"nature" of this "young man" that Ibn 'Arabi says he has 
drawn "all that is written in this book." 

Who is this fata whom Ibn 'Arabi describes sometimes as a 
spirit (rub) or an angel (malak) and sometimes as a human 
being (insiyyun) — all the while suggesting, by the attributes 
assigned to him, that he is of a divine nature and is in fact no 
less than a theophany? Some of Ibn ' Arabi's allusive sentences 
allow us to decipher this paradox without hesitation: for 
example, when, addressing the fata, he affirms seeing in him 
"the equal and the peer" and when he declares at the end of a 
dialogue with this mysterious interlocutor, "who only speaks 
in symbols" (la yukallimu abadan ilia ramzan): "He revealed to 
me all my names, and I knew who I was and who I was not." 
We understand that this fata, this luminous double, confronts 
him, in a vision whose beauty transfigures him, with the 
essence of his own reality; thus he has become that which he 
has been for all eternity. 

We again meet this fata in another text by Ibn 'Arabi, Khab 
al-isra, (The Book of Nocturnal Voyage)." This encounter 
happens "at the source of Arin." The very name gives us a 
key to the interpretation of what will follow. In traditional 
Islamic geography, Arin designates an island, or a mythical 
city, equidistant from north and south and from east and 
west. It is obviously a symbolic denomination of the supreme 



spiritual center, or, microcosmically speaking, of what is 
often represented in sacred anthropology as the "heart." This 
is also the very significance of the place where the preceding 
story was taking place. Mecca, "mother of cities" (Koran 
6:92), is, in effect, according to a tradition going back to Ibn 
'Abbas, "the navel of the earth" (surrat al-ard), and the 
Kaaba, the Black Stone, which is "in the world" without 
being "of the world," for it is of celestial origin, is its 
"pivot." 12 There can be no doubt that the fata who, at the 
source of Arin, teaches the voyager, is identical to the one 
whose appearance opens the 560th chapter of the Futuhat, for 
we hear him address his companion in these terms: "You are 
the cloud that veils your own sun. Know the essential reality 
of your being." 13 It is then clear that the fata does not merely 
answer: he is the answer. 14 Thus, its ultimate secret laid bare, 
the cycle of Futuwwah comes to an end. 

Michel Chodkiewicz 


1 . On Sulami and his work, see Brockelmann, Geschichte der 
arabischen Litteratur, I, 218, and p. 361, and Sezgin, Geschichte 
des arabischen Schrifftums, I, 671 ff. The first critical edition of 
Kitah al-futuwwah is Franz Taeschner's in Studia orientalia 
Joanni Pedersen ... dicta (Copenhagen, 1953), pp. 340-351. 

2. For a deeper study of al-Nasir, see Angelika Hartmann, 
al-Nasir li-Din Allah (Berlin and New York, 1975). 

3. J. von Hammer-Purgstall, "Sur la chevalerie des 
arabes," Journal Asiatique (Paris, 1849). 



4. The terms aristocratic and courtly are usually used by 
historians to distinguish Nasirian Futuwwah from the 
"popular" variety. On the different forms of Futuwwah and 
their evolution, chiefly considered from a social-historical 
point of view, see, in the Encyclopedia of Islam (new ed., II, 
961 ff.), the articles by Claude Cahen (for the pre-Mongol 
period) and Franz Taeschner (for the post-Mongol period). 
These articles include a vast bibliography, to which must be 
added an essential work, the Rasa'il-i javanmardan (Teheran 
and Paris, 1973), a collection in Persian of seven futuwwat- 
nameh (treatises on Futuwwah) edited by Morteza Sarraf. This 
anthology includes two works by Suhrawardi which formulate 
the statutes of the Nasirian Futuwwah and highlight its 
esoteric character. A long analytical introduction, written in 
French by Henri Corbin, has been separately published under 
the title Trait'e des compagnons-chevaliers. It constitutes a 
fundamental clarification, despite the author's well-known 
inclination toward a Shi'ite interpretation. 

5. In the case of textile printers, we find a characteristic 
example of the ritual use and esoteric interpretation of the 
gestures of the trade in the last of the seven treatises 
published by Morteza Sarraf (p. 83 ff.). I would like to 
emphasize in passing an obvious parallelism between Christian 
and Islamic esoterism. In both we witness the appearance of 
initiatic organizations (exemplified in Christendom by Ma- 
sonry and "Compagnnonage") which constitute providential 
adaptations to specific milieu of the traditional methods 
toward realization. In the East, as in the West, this adaptation 
occurred under the control of spiritual authorities, such as 
Saint Bernard in the case of the Templars, and Suhrawardi, 
among others, in the case of Futuwwah. For reasons evidently 



linked to cyclical conditions, these artisans' initiations 
outlived those of the knights, and received a part of their 
spiritual heritage. 

6. Fata in its plural form (fityan) is also applied to the 
Companions of the Cavern (ahl al-kahf, Koran 18:10,13), and 
in its singular form it designates Moses' companion (Koran 
18:60, 62). 

7. Qushayri, Risalah (Cairo, 1957), pp. 103-105. 

8. "The others" in this case embraces the totality of 
creatures, not only humankind. Ibn 'Arabi, in his Futuhat (I, 
244; II, 233; cf. anecdote II, 235), emphasizes that the 
generosity of the fata must extend to the mineral, vegetal, and 
animal kingdoms. 

9. The word fath is frequently used to designate by analogy 
a series of initiatic events that represent successive stages in 
the spiritual journey (suluk) and that therefore correspond to 
the lifting of different "veils" separating man from the 
essential Reality. I allude here to the ultimate/ath. Qashani (a 
master of Ibn 'Arabi's school who died in 1330) wrote a 
doctrinal exposition on the major distinctions between the 
different levels of fath, based on the various scriptural uses of 
the word, in his commentary on Surah al-Fath (Tafsir, 
published under the name of Ibn 'Arabi [Beirut, 1968], II, 

10. See al-Futuhat al-Makkiyyah (Cairo, A.H. 1329), chap. I 
(I, 47-57). A detailed and penetrating analysis of this inaugural 
account (about which, however, I have certain reservations) 
has been given by Henri Corbin in L'lmagination creatrice dans 
le Soufisme d'Ibn 'Arabi (Paris, 1958), p. 207 ff. The author 
translates fata as jouvenceau mystique, "mystical youth." It is 
worth remarking that Ibn 'Arabi has devoted three chapters to 



-utuwwah in his Futuhat (chap. 42, I, 241-244, and chaps. 
146-147, II, 231-234). 

11. Hyderabad, 1948. Kitah al-isra, written in Fez in A.H. 
594, is in fact anterior to the Futuhat, which Ibn 'Arabi began 
to write in Mecca in A.H. 599. The theme of the nocturnal 
voyage and of the ascension (mi' raj), prototyped by the mi'raj 
of the Prophet, as described in several Hadith, is taken up 
again in two important chapters of the Futuhat. In chap. 167, 
Ibn 'Arabi allegorically describes the conditions and modes of 
this journey; in chap. 367, he relates the successive stages of 
his own ascension. 

12. Muhammad al-Makhzumi, al-Jami al-latiffi fail Makka 
(Cairo, A.H. 1357), p. 18; on Arin, see the entry Istiwa in 
Encyclopedia of Islam. In his Istilahat, Ibn 'Arabi defines Arin as 
"the point of equilibrium of all things." 

13. Kitab al-isra, p. 4. 

14. This encounter with the celestial fata, which reveals to 
certain beings their permanent reality in divinis, after they 
have "broken the idol," can be understood as an anticipation 
of the paradisiac status of the Elect. We should stress here 
the significant coherence between initiatic and eschatological 
symbolism. According to certain traditions (e.g., Baghawi, 
Masabih al-Sunnah, II, 152), the inhabitants of Paradise will all 
be "beardless young men." They will have "Adam's height 
and Jesus' age," that is, thirty-three. (The reference to Adam 
and Jesus, the "second Adam," who, for Ibn 'Arabi, is the 
Seal of Universal Sanctity, would need a fuller commentary 
than can be given here.) It is moreover important to note that 
the authentically Islamic and Muhammadan character of the 
vision of the essential Reality through the traits of the fata is 
corroborated by a tradition that Ibn 'Arabi cites at the end of 



chap. 3 of the Futuhat (I, 97). In this Hadith, the Prophet 
states: "I have seen my Lord in the form of a beardless 
youth." According to Ibn 'Arabi, the "Lord" of every 
"servant" (that is, of every creature) is nothing other than the 
Divine Name from which the "servant" draws everything 
that sustains his being. 



In the original Arabic text of Kitab ai-jutuwwah, each 
paragraph dealing with the codes of behavior in the path of 
Futuwwah is substantiated either by a Hadith or by the 
authority of a Sufi saint. Sulami relates these statements 
through a long chain of authorities of transmission (isnad), 
giving the name of each authority, from the original speaker 
up to himself. For the sake of easier reading, the translation 
names only the originator of each statement and the person 
who told it directly to Sulami. As a sample, the complete 
chain of authority is given for the first two Hadith mentioned 
in the text. Thereafter, the statements are numbered to 
correspond with the numbered chains of authority in the isnad 
section at the end of the book. 

Isnad is extremely important in all Islamic religious texts, 
for a statement has no value unless it is backed up by a 
witness who heard it, and is guaranteed by a series of 
authorities who transmitted the words verbatim to each other 
at times and places that can be historically verified. In the 
first part of his book, Sulami uses the traditional expression 
"akhbarana. . .ijazatan. . ." ("so-and-so informed us on the 
authority of so-and-so"), with the names of seven or eight 
transmitters. Toward the end of the book, the isnad is 
reduced to one or two transmitters, and Sulami uses the 



phrase *W qa ] a Wa qa}a - ( <. he said ^ ^^^ ^^ Qr 
somet.mes W SQmi W ("1 heard so-and-so say"). But even 
in the case of his own personal transmissions, Sulami is 
careful to cite other witnesses who heard the same statement 
At least seventy-seven of the names Sulami mentions are 
those of sheikhs who lived during his time, and there is good 
reason to believe that he talked to and worked with them 




In the Name of AHah, the Compassionate and the Merciful, 
on Whom we depend. 

All praise is due to Allah Who has opened the path of 
Futuwwah, which leads to the most beautiful form of the 
fulfillment of our duties to Him, and Who has cleared and 
cleansed that path from all errors and all evil and raised its 
level to the highest. The prophets whom He has sent and the 
chosen servants who are close to Him are on this path. All for 
whom the path to Truth has been opened and whose names 
are written as pure in the Book of Righteousness learned to 
follow this path and attained the noble levels of those who 
embody Futuwwah. 

The first to follow the call of Futuwwah, to honor 
munificence and good conduct, was Adam — whose name is 
fixed in the Will of Allah, whose being lives in the House of 
Majesty, who is supported by the Holy Light and Purity, and 
who has been crowned by the Crown of Munificence and 
entered into the Realm of Salvation. When his son Cain 
renounced Futuwwah, his other son, Abel, took it up. The 
prophet Seth gave Futuwwah its due and protected it from all 
and everything that was improper. The prophet Enoch was 
brought to high stations by it and was saved from the traps of 



the Devil. Noah suffered for his devotion to Futuwwah, and 
thus became illuminated by it. 'Ad was named after 
Futuwwah, which protected him from pride. Hud showed the 
beauty of loyalty to his people with Futuwwah, and Salih 
saved himself from evil with its help. Abraham, the friend of 
Allah, who was a true fata, broke the statues and idols 
Through Futuwwah, Ishmael was ready to be sacrificed to his 
Lord Most High, and Lot reached the high heaven from which 
there is no descent. With Futuwwah, Isaac prays until the 
Day of Reckoning. Jacob held fast to the ideals of Futuwwah 
In Futuwwah Job found comfort in his sickness. With 
Futuwwah Joseph trod the most beautiful of paths and 
succeeded at each step. Dhul-Kifl, abiding with the high 
ranks of Futuwwah, did his good deeds. Shu'ayb, taking the 
laurels in the race, won the first place-with Futuwwah he 
was kept from all doubt and error. Moses was honored by 
being invested with the robe of Futuwwah. Aaron abode with 
it and spoke well. The Companions of the Cave and the 
Inscription were honored by it and were saved and entered 
into the realm of God's gifts. David's heart was revived with 
it and because of it he found it sweet to bow and prostrate 
Solomon received Futuwwah from David; both men and jinns 
came to be under his command on its account. Jonah saw 
Reality in the rules of Futuwwah, and he followed them 
Zachariah entered the realm of peace and joy with it John 
with his loyalty to it, in difficult moments was saved from the 
pangs of suffering. Jesus shone with the purest of light 
through it, and came to be called the Spirit and the Messiah 
through it. Entire victory was given to Muhammad, peace and 
blessmgs be upon him, and the brothers Abu Bakr and 'Umar 
and his uncle's son 'All became the guardians of it. 



O Allah, enable us to act upon this discourse. Accord us 
the grace of this knowledge. Let us be among those who see 
the Truth, and lead us on this the best of paths. 

Whoever hopes to meet his Lord should do good deeds 
and worship none but his Lord. (Koran 18:110) 

All praise is due to Allah, Whose gifts are eternal, and all 
power belongs to Allah Most High, 

Who begets no son, and has no partner in His dominion; 
nor needs He any to protect Him from humiliation — yea, 
magnify Him for His greatness and glory! (Koran 17:1 1 1) 

All thanks are due to Allah, Who showed the signs of His 
generosity in His chosen servants, driving them to obedience 
and saving them from revolt; and informed us that their state 
is the state of His Friend (s.a.w.s.). 

In the Holy Koran He says: 

They said; We heard a noble youth [fata] called Ibrahim 
speak of them. (Koran 21:60) 

He gave the title fata to the one He loves because the one 
who bears the sign of Futuwwah and is called by its name 
gives all the love that he had for himself, for his family, for 
his property and children, to Allah. He empties his being of 
everything and leaves it to the Owner of All Things. He leaves 
the whole universe and all that there is in it. That is when 
Allah calls His chosen friends: 




Surely they were noble youths [fityan] who believed in 
their Lord, and We advanced them in guidance. (Koran 

They were given abundant guidance and climbed to His 
proximity because they believed in their Lord only for their 
Lord s sake, and said: 

Our Lord is the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Never shall 
we call upon any god other than Him. (Koran 18:14) 

Allah dressed them with His own clothes, and He took 
them in His high protection and turned them in the direction 
ot His beauties and said: 

And We turned them about to the right and to the left 
(Koran 18:18) 

All who enter the path of Futuwwah are under Allah's 
direction and protection. 

[O my son], may Allah accord you His pleasure. You asked 
about Futuwwah. Know that Futuwwah means following the 
ordinances of perfect devotion, leaving all evil, and attaining 
in action and in thought the best of visible and hidden good 
conduct. Every condition and every moment demand from 
you one aspect of Futuwwah. There is no state or time 
without that demand. There is a Futuwwah fit for your 
behavior toward God, another toward the Prophet and 
others toward his companions; yet others toward the pure 
ones of the past, your sheikh, your brotherhood, and the two 
angels on your shoulders who keep the accounting of your 



I shall here describe some of these and support them by the 
Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the declarations, actions, 
conduct, and virtues of our Elders. In this and in all I do, I 
beseech the aid of Allah, Who suffices me, and Who is the 
best of guardians. 

Bring joy into the lives of your friends and meet their 
needs. In a Hadith that comes to us through 'Abdul-Rahman 
ibn Muhammad ibn Mahmud — Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn 
Yahya — Muhammad ibn al-Azhar — Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah 
al-Basri — Ya'la ibn Maymun — Yazid al-Zaqqashi — Anas ibn 
Malik (r.a.a.), the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: "When 
one brings joy with his words into the life of a believer or 
satisfies his worldly needs, whether small or large, it becomes 
an obligation upon Allah to offer him a servant on the Day of 
Last Judgment." 

Respond to cruelty with kindness, and do not punish for an 
error. In a Hadith that comes through Muhammad ibn 
'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Sabih al-Jawhari — 'Abdullah 
ibn Muhammad ibn 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Shiruyah — Ishaq ibn 
Ibrahim al-Hanzali — Qabisah — Sunayn — Abu Ishaq — Abu al- 
Ahwas: "Abu al-Ahwas's father asked the Messenger of Allah 
whether, if he were to go to a close friend and the man would 
not help him, he should do the same to the friend if he asked 
for help. The Messenger of Allah said no." 

Do not find fault with your friends. Through Ahmad ibn 
Muhammad al-Bazari we learn that the Messenger of Allah 
said: "If you start seeking faults in Muslims, you will cause 
dissent among them or you will at least start dissension." 

A follower of Futuwwah may go to a close friend's house 
without invitation. 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ziyad 




reports that Abu Hurayrah said: "One day when Abu Bakr 
and 'Umar were together, the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) came and 
asked, 'What are you doing here?' They answered, 'We swear 
by the One Who sent you as a true prophet that what brought 
us here is hunger.' Upon that, the Prophet said, 'Go to the 
house of such-and-such a man among those who have invited 
us to this city.' " 

(3) Do not find fault with food offered to you. We hear from 
Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Sabih that Abu 
Hurayrah said: "The Messenger of Allah never looked down 
upon any food presented to him. He ate it if he had appetite 
and did not eat it if he had no appetite." 

(4) Maintain good conduct and behavior, the kind that reflects 
the perfect behavior of the people of Paradise. We heard 
through Abul-Qasim Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Nasrabadhi 
that Anas (r.a.a.) was ill. A friend of his came to visit him. 
Anas said to his servant, "Serve whatever we have to our 
brother, even if it is a piece of bread, because the Messenger 
of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said, 'Generosity is a characteristic of the 
people of Paradise.' " 

(S) Follow the example of our Prophet in this station. We hear 

through Hafiz Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ya'qub that 
the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said: "To visit each other for Allah's 
sake is generous behavior." 

The host should serve everything he has to his brother. 
Even if he has only a drop of water left, he should serve that. 
If he does not offer what is possible for him to offer, his day 
and night are under the curse of Allah. 

;6) Let there be familiarity and closeness among brethren. 

Through Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Hajjaji, 
we learn that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: "The 

believer is the one with whom one can be close. The one who 
is not close and the one to whom one cannot be close are of 
no use. The good among men are those from whom others 

Above all, be generous. Through Abul-Husayn ibn Sabih 
we find that 'A'ishah heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) 
say: "Paradise is the home of the generous." 

Maintain old relationships. In a Hadith that comes to us 
through Muhammad ibn Mahmud al-Maruzi al-Faqih, 
'A'ishah said that she heard the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) 
say: "Allah approves the keeping of old friendships." 

Keep your friends' interest at heart and care for your 
neighbors. We learn through Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn 
Yahya that Ibn 'Abbas (r.a.a.) brought a gift to Ibn al-Zubayr, 
who said: "Someone who eats while his next-door neighbor is 
hungry is not a believer." 

When you bring a gift of food that in turn is offered to 
you, you must be extremely careful of your manners. We 
hear through Ibrahim ibn Ahmad al-Abzari that the Messenger 
of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: "Don't count your friend's mouth- 

In affairs that are not clearly sinful, be lenient with your 
friends. Through Isma'il ibn Ahmad al-Khallali we hear that 
the Messenger of Allah said: "The first sign of intelligence is 
to believe in Allah. The next is to be lenient with people in 
affairs other than the abandoning of Truth." 

Get along with friends and help them. Through Isma'il ibn 
Ahmad al-Khallali we hear that Abu Sa'id al-Khudri (r.a.a.) 
said: "A man prepared a feast for the Messenger of Allah and 
his companions. When the food was brought to them, one 
declined to eat, saying that he was fasting. The Messenger of 






Allah (s.a.w.s.) said, 'Your brother has invited you; he went 
to a lot of trouble for you. Eat now. You may make up your 
fast later.' " Fy 

Care for your brethren more than you care for your own 
family. Through Isma'il ibn Ahmad al-Khallali we hear that 
Fatimah, daughter of the Messenger of Allah, asked her 
husband, 'Ali (r.a.a.), for a servant. 'Ali answered: "Do you 
wish me to abandon those who have given up everything for 
Allah so that their bellies contract from hunger while I get 
you a servant?" 

Permit your friends to claim your possessions as if they 
belonged to them. Through Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn 
Zakariyya we learn that the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) used to use the 
property of Abu Bakr as if it were his own. 

Invite guests, offer feasts, and be hospitable. Through 
Muhammad ibn Quraysh, we hear that the Prophet said, 
"How awful is a society that does not accept guests. " And we 
hear through Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah that the Prophet 
(s.a.w.s.) said that there is no good in the one who does not 
welcome guests. 

Respect your friends and show your respect for them We 
hear through Isma'il 'Abdullah al-Mikali that Wathilah ibn al- 
Khattab al-Qurashi said that a man entered the mosque when 
the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) was alone. The Prophet got up to show 
him respect. When the man protested, the Prophet respond- 
ed that to be paid respect is the right of the believer. 

Be truthful. Abu 'Amr Muhammad ibn Ja'far and Ibn Matar 
and Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn 'Abdah declared that 'Urwah 
(r.a.a.) said that Sufyan ibn 'Abdullah al-Thaqafi asked the 
Messenger of Allah to teach him so that he need never ask 
anyone again. The Messenger of Allah answered, "Say that 
you believe in Allah; then always be truthful." 




Be satisfied with little for yourself, and wish much for 
others. Through Abu Bakr al-Djwanji we hear that the 
Prophet said, "The best of my people will enter Paradise not 
because of their achievements, but because of the Mercy of 
Allah and their quality of being satisfied with little for 
themselves and their extreme generosity toward others." 

Be kind and gentle to others. Through Abu 'Amr 
Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Hamdan we hear that Abu Sa'id 
al-Khudri said, "In an expedition with the Messenger of 
Allah, we saw a man riding a camel. He was rushing about, 
hitting people right and left. The Prophet said, so that the 
man could also hear, 'Whoever has an extra riding animal 
should give it to someone who has none. Whoever has extra 
food should give it to those who do not have any.' Then he 
started counting people's luggage. We all felt that none of us 
had any right to extra property," 

Love each other and frequent each other for Allah's sake. 
Through Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn Sabih we hear that 
Allah Most High said through his Prophet (s.a.w.s.): "The 
ones who love each other for My sake deserve My love; the 
ones who give what comes to them in abundance deserve My 
love. The ones who frequent and visit each other for My sake 
deserve My love." 

It is most rewarding to love the lonely and poor ones and 
care for them. Through 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn 'Ali 
ibn Ziyad we learn that 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr heard the Prophet 
say: "The people whom Allah loves best are His poor and 
lonely servants." Somebody asked, "What is their state, O 
Messenger of Allah?" He answered, "They are the ones who 
have nobody and nothing but their religion. On the Day of 
Last Judgment they will be brought to Jesus, the son of 






Keep your word and what is entrusted to you. We learn 
through 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Simidi that 'Abdullah 
ibn 'Amr heard the Messenger of Allah say: "If you have these 
four things, it does not matter even if you lose everything else 
in this world: protect what is entrusted to you, tell the truth, 
have a noble character, and earn your income lawfully." 

Do not wear the garb of the Sufi before you have qualified 
for it by cleansing your heart. We learn through 'Abdullah ibn 
Ahmad al-Shaybani that al-Hasan (r.a.a.) heard the Messenger 
of Allah say, "Do not wear the woolen mantle of total 
devotion until your heart is clean, because if you wear these 
clothes while your knowledge is deficient, [Allah in His 
Name] al-Jabbar, the Compeller of the Heavens, will tear 
them off your back." 

Give elaborate feasts, be gracious when entertaining, and 
be generous to your guests. Through Muhammad ibn al-Fadl 
ibn Ishaq and Abu Hurayrah (r.a.a.) we hear that the 
Messenger of Allah said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the 
Day of Last Judgment, let him be gracious to his guests." 
During these gatherings, begin your own meal only after 
everyone else has started eating. Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al- 
Asamm reports that the father of Ja'far ibn Muhammad said, 
"Whenever the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) ate with others, he was the 
last one to begin eating." 

Understand that what you really own is not what you keep 
of your property, but that which you spend for your brethren. 
It is reported through 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn 'Ali and 
'Amr ibn Shurahbil that 'A'ishah recounted that someone 
presented a lamb as a gift to the Messenger of Allah. He 
distributed the meat. 'A'ishah said, "Only the neck is left for 
us." The Prophet said, "No, all of it is left for us except the 

Share the joy of your brethren to the extent that if you are 
keeping a nonobligatory fast, you will break it to join the 
feast and festivities. Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn Muham- 
mad ibn Quraysh reported that Nafi' reported that Ibn 
'Abdullah heard the Prophet say, "If a person who is fasting 
joins his brethren and they ask him to break his fast, he 
should break it." 

Know happiness and joy in your relationships with your 
brethren. 'Abdul-'Aziz ibn Ja'far of Baghdad reports that al- 
Husayn ibn Zayd said to Ja'far ibn Muhammad, "Tell me, did 
our beloved Prophet ever joke?" He answered, "Allah 
bestowed on him the best manner of joyfulness. Allah sent 
other prophets who had suffering and distress, but He sent 
Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) for mercy and compassion. One of the 
signs of his kindness and love for his people was that he joked 
with them. He did this so that they would not stay away from 
him out of awe. My father, Muhammad, told me that his 
father, 'Ali, was told by his father, al-Husayn, that he heard 
the Messenger of Allah say: "Allah hates those who make 
disagreeable and sad faces at their friends." 

Remember that you are a servant of Allah and should not 
regard yourself and your actions highly, nor should you 
expect a return for your actions. We hear from Muhammad 
ibn 'Abdullah al-Razi that someone asked Abul-' Abbas ibn 
'Ata', "What thing most attracts Allah's anger?" He replied, 
"When one considers himself and his actions highly, and 
worse still, expects a return for his good deeds." 

Repent ceaselessly, with the strongest will not to return to 
the thing of which you repent, for only then is the repentance 
acceptable. Through Mansur ibn 'Abdullah al-Harawi we hear 
AbuhHasan al-Muzayyin say, "Three things make repentance 
real: regretting the past, deciding firmly not to return to the 





state of which one repents, and having fear in one's heart. 
One is afraid because one knows perfectly well when one 
sins, yet does not know if one's repentance is going to be 
accepted or refused." 

By loving the ones whom Allah loves, you attract His love 
to yourself. We hear through 'Abdul-Wahid ibn Bakr al- 
Warthani and Qannad Abu Musa al-Dabili that Abu Yazid al- 
Bistami said that a man asked him, "Show me the shortest 
way to reach Allah Most High." Abu Yazid said, "Love those 
beloved of Allah and make yourself lovable to them so that 
they love you, because Allah looks into the hearts of those 
whom He loves seventy times a day. Perchance He will find 
your name in the heart of the one He loves; then He will love 
you, too, and He will forgive you your wrongdoings." 

You must also repent for the sins of your friends and not 
blame them for their faults. Abul-Faraj al-Sa'igh reports that 
the father of 'Imran ibn Musa al-Dabili recounted that Yusuf 
ibn al Husayn came to Abu Yazid al-Bistami and asked him, 
With whom should I associate?" Abu Yazid said, "Associate 
with a person who will come to visit you when you are ill and 
who w.ll pray that you are forgiven when you do wrong," and 
he recited a couplet: 

We come and ask about your health when you are sick. 
We pray for your repentance when you sin. 

Do not be idle, but work in this world until you reach the 

definite state of trust in Allah. As reported through Abu Bakr 

al-Razi and Abu 'Uthman al-Adami, Ibrahim al-Khawwas said, 

It is not right for a Sufi not to work and earn his livelihood 

unless his situation makes it unnecessary, or he is clearly 


ordered to abandon worldly work. But if he needs to work 
and there is no reason for him not to work, he must work. 
Withdrawing from work is for those who have attained a 
spiritual level at which they are freed from the necessity of 
possessions and the following of custom." 

It is necessary to establish faith and trust between yourself 
and your Creator so that it is manifest in your state and your 
manners. Abu Hamzah says, "Although I totally trust in Allah 
and with this trust I intend to cross the desert hungry and 
without food, if my hunger does not become my food, I will 
be ashamed before my Lord." 

Abide by the prohibitions of Allah. 'Abdullah ibn Marwan 
dropped a penny into a dirty well by mistake. He paid 
thirteen dinars to some workers to recover the penny. When 
he was asked to explain this curious action, he said that the 
Name of Allah was written on the penny. In respect for His 
Name, he had to retrieve the penny from the dirt. 

Treat people as you wish to be treated. As the Prophet 
(s.a.w.s.) said, "As you wish people to come to you, go to 

A man came to Ibn Yazdaniyar and said, "Give me some 
advice." Ibn Yazdaniyar said, "Judge others as you wish to be 

Take refuge in Allah with your essence and heart. The 
order comes from the Most High: 

So [Lot] believed in Him and he said, "I am fleeing to 
my Lord; surely He is the Mighty, the Wise." (Koran 

Abu Bakr al-Tamastani has said, "Whoever among us 




abides by the Holy Book and the Traditions of the Prophet, 
and knows himself and the world and the people therein, and 
with his essence and heart takes refuge in Allah sincerely and 
constantly, he will achieve his goal. But if he ever turns back 
to what he has escaped from, he will lose his purpose 
forever." The Messenger of Allah said, "Everyone's refuge is 
the place where he has taken refuge." 

Be in contact with Allah or His Messenger or with the 
beloved ones who are close to Him. Abu 'Uthman al-Hiri 
said, "He whose relationship with Allah is sincere will read 
His Book carefully and thoughtfully, will hold His Words 
higher than all other words, and will follow the conduct and 
behavior ordered by Him. Whoever is sincere in his relation 
with Allah's Messenger will follow his Traditions, his 
direction, and his character, and will make him his guide in 
things to do and things not to do. He whose relation with 
those who are close to Allah is sincere follows their way and 
strives to acquire their habits and behavior. Those who fall 
from this state are among those who are destroyed." 

Educate yourself to prevent preoccupation with the affairs 
of men, and direct your attention toward the Truth. Abu Bakr 
al-Tamastani relates: "Whoever strongly desires a sincere and 
direct relationship with Allah must know that this relation- 
ship will prevent him from preoccupation with worldly 

Have faith that your sustenance is guaranteed by Allah. 
Sahl ibn 'Abdullah says, "The one who is still concerned 
about his sustenance after the guarantee has been given to 
him by Allah, has no value for Allah." 

Go along with friends and do not go against their wishes. 
Al-Musayyab ibn Wadih said, "If I tell one of my brethren, 

'Get up, let's go,' and get the answer 'Where to?', I know 
that he is not my brother." 

Do not oppose the one you love in things he likes or 
dislikes. Bishr ibn al-Harith said, "To like something that 
your beloved will disapprove of is not generosity," and he 
read a poem that said: 

I still loved you, and I loved my enemies, 

As my love for them was for you. 

When you abased me, I abased myself; 

How can I be kind to the one you find contemptible? 

You must be very sensitive in following the rules of 
conduct in making your devotions and prayers to Allah. Sa'id 
ibn 'Uthman al-'Abbas relates that he went on the Pilgrimage 
eighty times on foot and in utter poverty. When he was 
circumambulating the Kaaba, there came to his heart a vast 
sense of love, and he uttered the words "O my beloved!" 
Then he heard a secret voice say, "Are you not yet prepared 
to give up your attachment to the feeling of love?" He 
fainted. When he returned to consciousness, he heard himself 
saying, "I am nothing, I am nothing, I am nothing." 

i ii i The fine care given to the rules of conduct befitting Allah's 

perfect servant should not prevent him from being concerned 
about and protective of the interests of the public. Dhu Nun 
said, "The people of wisdom have three principles: to find 
peace within themselves, to spread the gifts of Allah in the 
company of the people who remember Him, and to inform 
men about Allah with a wise tongue." 

H<i) Keep an accounting of your thoughts and deeds. For that, 

you have to be conscious and know yourself, and you must 



have the conscience to regret that you are wasting your life in 
continuous revolt against your Creator. Al-Kattani says: 
"Someone from Raqqah told me that a man, in his attempt to 
keep an accounting of himself, had figured out that he was 
sixty years old. He counted the days, which totaled 21,500. 
He screamed in horror and fainted. When he came to, he 
said, 'Woe to me! Even if I had sinned only once a day, I 
would appear in front of my Lord with 21,500 sins. But I have 
sinned ten thousand times a day! What will become of me?' 
He passed out again. They tried to revive him and found that 
he was dead." 

If Allah wills, the rest will follow. 



In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate and the Merciful. 

Retain the fear of Allah within and without yourself. Yahya 
ibn Mu'adh al-Razi has said, "There are two kinds of fear of 
Allah: the exterior fear, which secures your acting in this 
world only for Allah's sake, and the interior fear, which 
prevents you from receiving anything in your heart but 


Fast, for hunger is a protection against the Devil. Ibn 'Isam 
says, "Whoever intentionally keeps himself hungry is out of 
bounds for the Devil." 

Dhikr, or remembrance of Allah, will affect both your 
interior and exterior life. The effect of dhikr in the interior is 
acceptance (rida); in the exterior, its effect is humility and 
piousness (khudu' and khushu'). 

Junayd says, "Allah's servants are such that when they 
remember His magnificence, their limbs become paralyzed 
with anxiety at the thought of being separated from their 
Creator and from fear of their Lord. They are intelligent 
people who know Allah and the times that belong to Allah, 
and they are eloquent." 

You must trust the security that Allah has granted you and 
work in accordance with His orders. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi 




says: "Do not think about your sustenance, which is secured 
for you, but do the work you have taken upon yourself. This 
is the way of the fata and of the generous." 

(4) None of the matters of this world or of the next should 
deter you from Allah. Rabi'ah said, "While I am in this 
world, all I want from this world is to remember You, and my 
only wish for the hereafter is to be able to see You. Other 
than this, do with me as You wish." 

(5) It is very important to take care of your members, limbs, 
and sense organs, and to safeguard them from evil. Use them 
properly to influence the education of your heart. Sahl ibn 
'Abdullah al-Tustari has said, "Allah protects the hearts of 
those who protect their members from doing evil. No one 
whose heart is protected by Allah will be allowed by Him to 
feel insecure. Whoever receives Allah's security is trans- 
formed by Him into a leader who is followed by the people. 
Whoever is a guide appointed by Allah is made by Him into 
an example of perfection." 

(6) Forgive, even though you may have the power to retaliate. 
Sari says, "Whoever forgives while he has the power to take 
revenge is forgiven in his turn by Allah when he deserves 

(7) Instead of seeking the faults of others, look at your own 
faults. Dhu Nun has said, "Whoever looks for the faults of 
others is blind to his own faults. Whoever looks for his own 
faults cannot see the faults of others." 

(8) Strengthen your outer self with prayer and your inner self 
with remembrance of Allah. Yahya ibn Mu'adh said, "Allah 
created man's soul and made its life dependent on remem- 
brance. Allah created man's flesh and made its life dependent 
on prayer. He created the world, and protection from its 

dangers is possible only by abandoning it. He created the 
hereafter and made it possible to benefit from it only by 
working for it." 

Be among the lovers who obey with pleasure all the wishes 
of the beloved. Abul-Husayn al-Maliki recounts that Nuri 
came to Junayd and said, "I hear that you give discourses on 
every subject. Speak to me on whichever subject you choose, 
so that I may add things that you do not know." 

Junayd said, "What do you wish me to talk about?" 

Nuri replied, "Love." 

Junayd said, "Let me tell you a story. My friends and I 
were in a garden. One of us was supposed to bring our meal, 
but he was late. We went up on a terrace to look out for him. 
We saw approaching us on the path a blind man accompanied 
by a youth with a beautiful countenance. We heard the blind 
man say to the younger one, 'You ordered me to do "this." I 
did it. You prevented me from doing "that," and I did not do 
it. I have never acted against your wishes. What else do you 
want from me?' The young man said, 'I wish you to die.' 
'Very well, I will die,' replied the blind man. He lay down 
and covered his face. I said to my friends, 'That blind man 
indeed looks lifeless, but he could not really have died; he 
must be pretending.' We came down, we looked at the man, 
we shook him and saw that he was indeed dead.' ' 

Nuri left without adding a word. 

Be lenient with your friends, do not be cross with them, 
and do not talk harshly to them. Muhammad ibn Bashir tells 
of a quarrel between Ibn Sammak and a friend of his. At the 
end of the discussion, the friend said, "Let us meet tomorrow 
and continue this argument." Ibn Sammak answered, "No, 
let us meet tomorrow and forgive each other." 





(11) Respect others and be impressed only by the best in them. 
Junayd's dervishes complained to him about some people who 
kept asking him pointless questions. They requested him not 
to answer such people anymore. Junayd replied, "I do not see 
in them what you see in them. I hope that they will perchance 
fall on a word that they will understand and that one word 
will save them." 

(12) The masters of Futuwwah are told to give advice 
incessantly to their dervishes, but while they are preaching to 
them, they must never lose sight of the fact that many of the 
things that they ask of the dervishes are also missing in 
themselves. Badr al-Maghazili says that he asked Bishr al-Hafi, 
"What do you think about living in Baghdad?" and Bishr 
answered, "If you wish to die as a Muslim, do not stay here." 

"Then why are you staying here?" Badr asked. 

"If a servant ceases to follow Allah's commands, Allah 
throws him into a destructive and evil place," Bishr replied. 
"I must have stopped following Allah's commands, for He 
has thrown me here." 

(13) On the other hand, the novice must accept the words of his 
master even if he does not understand them, until the blessing 
of these words raises him to the level of understanding. On 
this matter, Junayd says, "I sat in the presence of sheikhs for 
ten years. They would talk about the wisdom of Sufism. I 
never understood what they discussed, but I never raised 
objections to their words. Every Friday I listened to their 
discourses. Although I did not understand a thing they said, I 
felt that it was true, and I prevented myself from falling into 
the cursed state of denial. After ten years has passed, they 
came to me one day and said, 'There is such-and-such a 
problem; if you have heard anything pertaining to a similar 
situation, tell us.' " 

Be compassionate, and prefer the interest of your brethren 
to your own egotism. According to the report of Muhammad 
ill, Hasan, Abu Ja'far al-Isfahani, who was Abu Turab's 
Hi rvish, told this story: Abu Turab went to Mecca for the 
1' i primage. A man from Khurasan came to him. He had ten 
thousand dirhams in his possession. He opened the bag and 
«aid, "O Abu Turab, take this." 

Abu Turab replied, "Pour it out." 

The man from Khurasan poured the money onto the 
■round in front of Abu Turab. Abu Turab took two dirhams, 
gave them to one of his dervishes, and asked him to go and 
buy a shirt. Then he tore the shirt into shreds, making little 
ki^s out of them, and put handfuls of money in each. He then 
| lent them to poor people, thus avoiding the embarrassment 
that would be caused by their having to come and ask for it. 

When the money was almost distributed, a man reminded 
him that his own dervishes had not eaten anything for many 
days. Abu Turab took a handful of dirhams, gave it to him, 
and said, "Take this and feed them." 

Then a woman approached. "O Abu Turab," she said, 
"what about your own family?" 

Turning to his dervishes, Abu Turab said, "See if there is 
anything left." They searched on the ground, found two 
ilirhams, and gave them to her. 

In a tradition that comes to us through Muhammad ibn al- 
Hasan al-Baghdadi, Sari al-Saqati informs us of the following 
characteristics of the Sufis. They refuse to act for the 
fulfillment of their egos or to obtain anything that has a taste 
of willfulness, lust, pleasure, or whim. They are able to resist 
the commands of their egos. They firmly pursue five goals: 
never to be envious of what other people have, never to 
trouble other people, and always to control their hands, their 






stomachs, and their sexual desires. They are humble and they 
follow the ones who are superior to them in mystical 
knowledge. They turn away from five evils: from everything 
that is temporal, from people, from desires, from the wish to 
be leaders, from the love of being praised. They wish for five 
gifts: that little of this world be given to them, but that Truth 
be given to them; that the fear of Allah be given to them; that 
the company of the ones close to Allah be given to them and 
that they be saved from the company of the ones who oppose 
Allah; that they be given the ability to know and do things 
that please Allah; and that they receive the things rejected by 
the ignorant. 

To know Allah and to be able to endure pain and suffering 
for His sake is one of the main goals of Futuwwah. Abul-Faraj 
al-Warthani reports that Dhu Nun said, "One day, in Egypt, I 
saw some children throwing stones at a man. I asked the 
children what they wanted from him. They said, 'He is 
insane; he claims that he sees Allah.' 

"I asked them to leave him alone and to let me see him. I 
approached and saw a young man leaning on a wall and told 
him, 'May Allah have mercy upon you. Do you know what 
these children say? They say that you claim to see Allah.' 
"The young man did not answer, and kept quiet for an 
hour. Then he lifted his head, tears rolling down his cheeks. 
'Allah is my witness that I have never lost Him since I came to 
know Him,' he said, and recited this poem: 

' 'O, from heights unreachable by us who are made 
of clay, 
Blessings are sent. 
This life is but a struggle; 
The feet find their way only with death.' " 

When trouble and suffering come upon you, accept them 
and do not complain. 'Abdul- Wahid ibn Bakr reports that 
Muhammad ibn Mahbub said: "I was wandering in the streets 
of Baghdad. I passed through an insane asylum, where I saw a 
beautiful young man with shackles on his ankles and around 
his neck. I was so pained at this sight that I turned away from 
him. He called after me by name: 'O Ibn Mahbub, your Lord 
has put these shackles around my neck and on my feet 
because I love Him so. Is He not satisfied yet? Tell Him that if 
He is pleased, I do not mind this state of mine.' Then he 
recited this poem: 

' 'The one whom You brought close to You cannot 

stand to be away from You. 
The one who is caught by love cannot stand to be away 

from You. 
If the eyes cannot see You, the heart does.'" 

Seek a humble life and poverty, and be content and happy 
with it. We learn from Abul-Faraj al-Warathani that Bishr ibn 
al-Harith said, "So Allah considers martyrdom a hidden pearl 
and offers it only to his most beloved servants. In the opinion 
of the believers, poverty is also such a hidden pearl." 

It is detestable to fawn over and flatter someone in order to 
gain favor, 'Abdul-Wahid ibn Bakr reports that Abu 
'Abdullah al-Qurashi said, "The one who flatters his own or 
someone else's ego will never smell the perfume of 

Free yourself from everything with which you find yourself 
surrounded, even from the whole universe, so that you may 
become a true servant of Allah. 'Abdul- Wahid ibn Bakr 
reports that Ahmad ibn Hanbal said that he saw a letter 






written by Ibn al-Sammak to his brother. It said, "If you can, 
try to avoid being a slave to anyone but Allah, keep yourself 
free from submitting to worldly things, and be a servant to 
Allah alone." 

In this education you must learn to feel joy in the privilege 
of serving your master. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ya'qub 
reports that Yahya ibn Mu'adh said: "Whoever feels joy in 
serving Allah will see that the whole material world will take 
joy in serving Him. The eyes that shine with the light of Allah 
will give light to the eyes that look upon them." 

Concern yourself only with your own affairs; this also is a 
part of your education. Hafiz Abu Ahmad reports that the 
Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: "One of the signs of a 
good Muslim is that he leaves alone everything that does not 
concern him." Ahmad ibn Muhammad Ya'qub reports that 
Ma'ruf al-Karkhi (r.a.a.) said, "When a believer occupies 
himself with things that do not concern him, it is a sign of 
Allah's wrath upon him." 

It is not sufficient to seek a humble life and poverty. You 
must also abide with the proper conduct in poverty. Through 
Mansur ibn 'Abdullah we learn that Abul-'Abbas ibn 'Ata 
said, "It is not proper to have anything more than the four 
things found on the table of the poor: the first, hunger; the 
second, poverty; the third, humiliation; the fourth, thankful- 


When you speak, take care to speak only from your own 
experience and your own state. You should not talk about 
things you have not lived. Abu Bakr Muhammad Ja'far reports 
that Junayd said: "I traveled to the banks of the Euphrates, 
for I had been told that a fata lived there. I saw that the 
troubles of the whole world had gathered upon this noble 
man. I said, 'May Allah be pleased with you. Tell me, when 
does loyalty become perfect in this world?' 


"He said, 'Junayd, the beginning of loyalty for you is not to 
ask this question.' 

"I was hurt by his answer. He called me back and said, 
'Junayd, to talk about loyalty without having lived loyally is 
not the kind of thing that good people do.' " 

Realize your revolt against your Lord, fear the conse- 
quences, and hold on to this state. Through Abu Bakr al-Razi, 
we hear that Junayd said, "He is in grave error who takes 
into account the many good deeds that he has done when he 
sees a single offense in himself. If one does not follow Allah's 
orders in all sincerity, one is straying from the Truth." 

Nothing and no one should prevent the servant from being 
in continuous remembrance of his Lord and from always 
enduring all troubles and pains. Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn 
Shadhan reports that junayd went early one morning to see 
Sari al-Saqati. Sari told him, "Abul-Qasim, tonight I was 
given a little inspiration, and my soul was told, 'O Sari, I 
created men and they were bound to Me and they were 
coming to Me. When I showed them the world, nine-tenths 
of them became world-bound and one-tenth remained with 
Me. When I told them about Paradise, nine-tenths of those 
who remained desired Paradise and only one-tenth remained 
with Me. When I poured My troubles and My pains upon 
those who had stayed with Me, they cried for help, and nine- 
tenths left and one-tenth remained with Me. I told them, 
"You neither wanted the world nor Paradise, nor did you run 
away from My troubles and pain." They said, "You know 
what we desire." I said, "I will pour upon you such calamities 
that the mountains could not bear their weight." They said, 
"As long as they come from You, it is well with us." * " 

Be aware of your states, count each breath and every 
moment of time allotted to you, and do not waste it. Sahl ibn 
'Abdullah al-Tustari said, "Your time is the most valuable 



thing you have. Give every moment its due." Abu Sa'id al- 
Razi reports that Junayd said: "All good is gathered in three 
conditions. If you cannot pass your days with what furthers 
you, at least do not pass your days with what works against 
you. If you cannot befriend good people, at least do not keep 
company with bad people. If you cannot give away what is 
yours for Allah's sake, at least do not spend your fortune on 
things that will anger Him. Keep continuous repentance and 
doubt that your repentance is accepted." Abu Bakr al-Razi 
reports that Abul-Hasan al-Muzayyin said, "Three things 
constitute repentance: regretting the past, deciding absolutely 
to give up what one has done, and fearing one's sins, because 
one may know one's sins intimately, but can never be sure 
that one is forgiven." 

Hold on to Truth under any circumstances, and do not 
believe in the reality of circumstances. Abul-Hasan ibn 
Qatadah al-Balkhi reports that al-Qannad heard this story: 
Junayd was asked, "What are the attributes of the Sufis?" He 
answered, "They are such noble men that they keep their 
word." He was further asked, "How do you recognize 
them?" and answered, "They never close their eyes, so their 
hearts never fall into heedlessness and imagination." 

Seek the company of the good and avoid the company of 
the evil. 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Isfandiyar reports that 
Yahya ibn Mu'adh al-Razi said: "On the day when the 
trumpet is sounded, you will see how evil friends will run 
from each other and how good friends will turn toward each 
other. Allah Most High says, 'On that day, except for the true 
believers, friends will be enemies.' " 

Seek and pray to obtain wisdom in your knowledge, 
revelation in your wisdom, and witnessing of the Divine 



Essence in your revelation. Yet you should also know that you 
will never attain the true knowledge of Allah in its entirety. 
Vbul- Hasan ibn Qatadah al-Balkhi reports that Nuri said: 
'Allah made formal knowledge available to all people. To the 
Mies close to Him He offered inner knowledge. To the ones 
yho are pure, He offered His revelations. To the ones whom 
He loves, He permitted the witnessing of His Divine Essence. 
He hid Himself from all of His creation. Whenever they think 
they know Him, they are in confusion. When they think that 
the veils are lifting, they become veiled. When they think 
that they see, they become blind. I swear in the Name of 
Allah Most High that His doings are most strange. There is 
nothing stranger than His doings." 

Do not be attached to worldly things. 'Ali ibn 'Abdullah al- 
Basri reports that Paris ibn 'Abdullah knew an old servant of 
Sahl. When she became ill, they proposed to have her cured. 
She refused. "Even if I knew that I would become totally 
cured by just having someone touch my ear," she said, "I 
would not let him do it. Where we are going is to our Lord; 
what a beautful voyage it is!" 

Believe that the one who loves receives constancy, health, 
and happiness from the Beloved. Sa'id ibn Muhammad al- 
Shashi reports that Sumnun al-Sufi said, "For you I have cried 
tears of blood. My tears became my cure." Muhammad ibn 
Isma'il recited this poem by a Sufi: 

They thought that consummated love would quench 

And love from afar extinguish ecstasy. 
We tried both cures, yet have not found health. 
Perchance it is better that your home be close, not far. 







Receive the one who comes and do not run after the one 
who turns his back on you. 'Abdul- Wahid ibn 'Ali reports 
that Paris said, "In accordance with their ethics, the Sufis do 
not reject those who come to their door, and do not pursue 
those who do not come; nor do they try to dominate the ones 
who enter their circle." 

A novice should not be rejected because of his faults nor a 
stanger accepted because of his good deeds. Abu Turab al- 
Nakhshabi has said: "When someone makes an effort to 
attain good behavior, takes on the outward form of the Sufis, 
and enters their circle, do not reject him, even if he commits 
one hundred faults. But do not let one who seeks the benefits 
of this world enter the circle without testing him, even if one 
hundred good deeds and benefits come from him." 

It is important to assume the behavior of servantship. 
Through Husayn ibn Yahya we hear Junayd say, "To be a 
servant is to leave one's will, to be humble and modest." 
Familiarity with friends visited or visiting must be 
understood. 'Abdullah ibn 'Ali al-Sarraj records Bishr ibn al- 
Harith as saying: "Among brethren, to leave the formality of 
good manners is good manners. He who is not familiar with 
his friends in activities permissible by Allah will bore them." 
It is necessary to go beyond and in depth in one's efforts. 
'Abdullah ibn 'Ali reports that al-Duqqi said: "One day 
'Abdullah al-Kharraz came to visit me. I had been fasting for 
four days. He looked at me and said, 'A man goes hungry for 
four days, so hunger shouts at him and calls to him. ' Then he 
said, 'Do you know that to obtain what you want from Allah, 
you must surrender every breath you breathe? Is that too 
much?' " 

Listen and be respectful and humble in the presence of 

people who remember and call upon Allah, and accept Truth 
from the tongues of those who preach it, Abul-Fadl Nasr 
reports that Fayd ibn Ishaq heard someone ask al-Fudayl ibn 
'Iyad, "What is Futuwwah?" He answered that it is 
remembrance of Allah and humility in the presence of those 
who are devoted to Him, and that to follow Futuwwah is to 
hear and accept the truth from those who preach it. Abul- 
Fadl Nasr also reports that Waki' said, "One should be 
permissive toward the faults of one's friends and should not 
be envious of what they possess." 

Trust in Allah and seek help only from Him and not from 
the people whom He has created. Nasr ibn Muhammad 
reports that Yahya ibn Mu'adh al-Razi said: "Four qualities 
characterize those who are close to Allah: They trust in Him 
in all matters, they ask only from Him, they seek only His 
help, and they keep only Him in their hearts, to the exclusion 
of everything else." 

Show compassion to all Creation. Nasr ibn Muhammad 
reports that Junayd related that there was a sheikh in 
Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi who was a man of 
Futuwwah; everyone praised him. One day, the sheikh's 
house collapsed on top of him and his wife. When people 
began to dig in the ruins, they found his wife first. "Leave 
me," she said. "Go and try to find the sheikh and save him. 
He was sitting in a corner over there." They left the woman, 
dug where she had pointed, and found the sheikh. "Leave 
me," he said. "Go and save my wife." Each wanted the other 
to be saved. That is the state of those who are together for the 
sake of Allah and who are friends and brothers in the name of 
Allah. They are in that compassionate state at all times. 

The one on the path of Futuwwah, if he is well-to-do, 




should never for any reason take advantage of a poor person's 
services. Mansur ibn 'Abdullah al-Khawwas told a congrega- 
tion how Junayd and his followers were once in a state of 
need. A well-to-do friend came upon them and saw on their 
faces the signs of hunger. The rich man asked one of the 
poorer dervishes to go with him to the market. He bought 
food, but made the poor dervish carry it. When they 
approached the mosque where Junayd and his brethren were 
waiting, Junayd called to them, "Throw away what is in your 
hands." None of them ate the food. Then the man who had 
bought the food was told, "How important the world must 
have become for you, that you make a poor man a porter for 
your sustenance.!" 

Know that the One who gives and the One who takes is 
Allah, so do not abase yourself by asking things from others. 
Mansur ibn 'Abdullah al-Harawi recites from a poem by Ibn 

I see no one who can grant what Allah has not given 
And no one who can stop the granting of what He gave. 
Generosity, tolerance, and the giving of gifts belong 

to the Forgiving One, 
So ask from Him alone. 

The one who lowers himself and begs from any other 
besides Allah, may he be in greater need. A true man gives 
without being asked; whoever gives when begged from is no 
man. Allah curses those who bow before such misers. 

Know that you are lacking in every sense, and do not be 
pleased with your state. Mansur ibn 'Abdullah reports that 
Abu Ya'qub al-Nahrajuri said: "The sign that someone is well 



guided by Allah is that he is aware of his lack of sincerity, his 
heedlessness in his remembrance of God, his lack of loyalty, 
and he is dissatisfied with this state. His intentions and efforts 
show that his need for Allah is ever-increasing, until the point 
where he gives up all desires. 

All thanks are due to the Lord of Creation. May Allah bless 
and have mercy on our Master Muhammad and upon all his 
family, offspring, companions, and friends. 

If Allah wills, the third part will follow. 



In the Name of Allah the Compassionate and the Merciful. 

(1) Nothing in this world is worth discord between brothers. 
Mansur ibn 'Abdullah reports Muhammad ibn Suqah's 
account of two men who became brothers in religion. One of 
the men asked the other to give him something; the second 
man denied him, but the petitioner did not seem to mind. 
"My brother," said the second man, "you asked me for 
something and I did not do it. Why did you not care?" 

"I have become your brother, and grew to love you long 
before I asked you this favor," answered the other man, "As 
long as my reason for loving you does not change, my attitude 
will not change, whether or not you give me what I asked 

The other man replied, "I refused what you asked for only 
to try you. Now you can take whatever you wish from me. 
You have the same right as I do to what I own." 

(2) Ja'far al-Sadiq was once asked, "What is Futuwwah?" He 
replied: "Futuwwah is not possible with quarreling and 
backbiting. Futuwwah is feeding people, giving to them, 
being pleasant and honorable to them, and not causing them 

One of the necessities of Futuwwah is to abide with the 


outer and inner codes of good behavior. Abul-Husayn al- 
Farisi reports that Abu Muhammad al-Jurayri said: "Religion 
possesses ten treasures — five outer and five inner. The outer 
treasures are to be truthful in your speech, generous with 
your property, and humble in your appearance, and to avoid 
causing difficulties to others, while bearing the difficulties 
caused by them. The five inner treasures of religion are to 
fear separation from Him, to wish to be with Him, to regret 
your wrongdoings, to have conscience, and to feel shame 
(hayya') before your Lord." 

To lower one's state by making demands upon other 
people is ugly. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi relates that Abu Bakr 
Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Dawud al-Balkhi said: "The love 
of someone who does not cause difficulties is of long 
duration. To have a relationship with a friend who is shy and 
timid is pleasurable; but friends who have continuous needs 
and demands are unbearable." 

Leave all your wants and desires in order to protect 
yourself from disasters. Al-Husayn ibn Yahya reports from 
Abu Turab al-Nakhshabi that "the avoidance of disasters 
depends on one's not responding to the desires of one's ego." 

Trust only in Allah in order to be satisfied with what you 
have. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi reports from Abu Muhammad al- 
Jurayri that Junayd said: "Allah has taken it upon Himself to 
satisfy the needs of His Creation and to provide for its 
sustenance. That is why men of Allah have found peace in 
trusting Him, and in not wishing or accepting anything other 
than what He gives. The pure in heart who have attained 
union with Truth, after having achieved this trust in their 
Guide which abolishes doubts from their hearts, must not ask 
things from others, for to do so is a very ugly act." 





(3) Solitude and isolation are preferable to indiscriminate 

mixing with people. 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Isfandiyar 
reported in Damghan that Yahya ibn Mu'adh said: "Every- 
thing has a fortification around it, which protects it. The 
castle of the being is isolation and the abandonment of the 
society of people, because if someone is not with you, he will 
be against you; the helpers are few and the times are cruel. 
Hurry before they destroy you through yourself." 

A man asked Fath al-Mawsili to give him advice. He 
answered, "Be by yourself, stay away from people; you will 
thus protect your religion and your happiness." 

In order to be able to strengthen the latter stages of your 
path, make a great effort to solidify the early stages. Abul- 
Husayn al-Farisi relates that ibn 'Ata' said: "One will never 
attain the higher states if one does not make firm one's 
relationship with God at the beginning. The duties that must 
be perfected in the early stages are obligatory prayers, reading 
of the assigned portions of the Koran in a state of purity, 
holding firm to the intermediaries (sheikhs), and having a 
strong will. God will offer the higher states to those who hold 
fast to these duties." 

Do not let any issue come between you and your secret 
with Allah. Abu Nasr al-Tusi reports that Abul-Faraj al- 
'Ukbari related that Shibli asked him: "O Abul-Faraj, how do 
you pass your time?" 

"With my wife and children," he answered. 

Shibli said, "So you spend your time, which is more 
valuable than the philosopher's stone, with things other than 
Allah? The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says, 'Allah is jealous and loves 
the jealous ones. He is jealous when anything other than His 
love appears in the hearts of the ones whom He loves.' " 

Abul-Faraj said, "I am jealous also." 

Shibli said, "Man's jealousies are of people; Allah's 
jealousy is of time spent for anything but Allah." 

To be able to see your own ego, act in opposition to its 
wishes. A wise man said, "When someone has a question 
about will and cannot find a guide to answer him, let him 
watch his ego's desires and do the opposite. Then the truth of 
the matter will be known." 

To stand in the presence of Allah [qiyam] for Allah's sake, 
with Allah's help, and together with Him, is the goal. The 
sign of being in the presence of Allah for Allah's sake is that 
one's state is continuous and uninterrupted; one is not 
distracted even by miracles and higher states that may be 
granted, nor does one separate one's attention from Allah and 
hope for a reward. The sign of standing in the presence of 
Allah with His help and permission is one's effort to efface all 
material things, an effort that appears without one's own will 
and decision. The sign of being in the presence of Allah 
together with Him is the disappearance of everything other 
than Allah, in such a way that nothing hides Him or prevents 
one from being with Him. 

The answer of Abul-Husayn al-Bushanji to a question about 
Futuwwah is significant. He said, "One of the principles of 
Futuwwah is to beautify one's essence with God: to love and 
want for one's friends the things that one loves and wants for 
oneself; in fact, to prefer one's friends to oneself, because 
Allah Most High says: 'But those who, before them, had 
homes [in Medina] and had adopted the faith, show their 
affection to those who came to them for refuge, and do not 
entertain in their hearts desire for things given to them, but 
give them preference over themselves, even though poverty 





was their [own lot] ' [Koran 59:9], And the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) 
said, 'Your faith is not complete until you love for your 
brother that which you love for yourself.' " 

One must understand the element of time and give 
importance only to time in time: that is, give immediate 
attention to time in the present, before it becomes the past, 
Sahl ibn 'Abdullah al-Tustari was asked, "When is the dervish 
saved from his ego?" He answered, "When he will not allow 
his ego to concern itself with any other time but the moment 
within which he is. That is when the Sufi will find peace." 

Grace in behavior is a sign of Futuwwah. When Abu Sa'id 
al-Kharraz was asked what Futuwwah is, he answered, "To 
forget what one already knows, to show patience against the 
wishes of one's ego, to give up expectations from ordinary 
people, not to want, not to expect thanks and rewards, to be 
generous, to hide one's state, and to be modest." 

Leave things in the hands of God, 'Abdullah al-Razi said 
that he read from the book of Abu 'Uthman that Shah ibn 
Shuja' said, "In order to put someone else in charge of 
something, one must abandon one's own will." 

In generosity and benevolence, follow the example of 
Allah's Messenger (s.a.w.s.), who said: "Visit those who do 
not visit you, give to those who do not give to you, respond 
with kindness and good deeds to the harm that is done to 

Seek good health, pray for it, and be thankful for it. Hazrat 
'A'ishah asked the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), "O Messenger of Allah, 
if I find the Night of Power [when prayers are most 
accepted], what should I ask from my Lord?" His reply was, 
"Ask for forgiveness and health in this world and the 
hereafter. ' ' 

Abu Bakr al-Warraq says, "The real health is in Allah's 





forgiveness. Without His forgiveness, there is no health or 

We learn from Abul-Husayn Muqsim that Ibrahim al- 
K haw was said, "health and well-being are carried only by the 
prophets and by the saints." On that subject, Abu 'Uthman 
al-Maghribi says, "The sages among men are those who are 
able to communicate health and well-being." 

Give all that you can and do not fall into the affliction of 
miserliness. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) asked a man, "Who is 
your master?" He answered, "Al-Judd ibn Qays is my master, 
but he is a little stingy." The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said, "Is there 
a worse sickness than miserliness?" 

We hear through Abul-' Abbas al-Baghdadi that Ahmad ibn 
Masruq related that he was with Abu Nasr one day on the 
streets of Baghdad. All Abu Nasr possessed was a wrapper 
around his waist that was worth eight dinars. They were 
accosted by a beggar who asked alms for the sake of 
Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). Without a second thought, Abu Nasr 
took off his wrapper, folded it in two, tore off half, and gave 
it to the beggar. He took a couple of steps and then said, "My 
miserliness is despicable." He returned and gave the other 
half to the poor man. 

Be content with little and accept your lot, so that you will 
not lower yourself in front of another. Through Muhammad 
ibn al-Hasan we hear Hasan al-Musuhi relate: "One day I was 
in the company of other people and all covered up because of 
the cold. Bishr ibn al-Harith came by and, seeing me thus, 
recited a poem: 

" 'In the courtyard of worries and pain among people, 
night hides the day. 




This is better for me than if tomorrow 
Someone would say that I asked for goods from 

the living dead. 
They asked, "Are you pleased with your lot?" 
I said, "To be rich is to be content with little, 

not with property and wealth. 
I am pleased whether I have or have not. 
I only wish for the open path." ' " 

Wish for the conditions that Sari al-Saqati enumerates. 
Through Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Khalidi we learn that 
Sari said that man's peace depends on five principles: avoid 
associating with evil people, be distant from ordinary people, 
and in this distance taste the taste of your own actions; at the 
same time, refrain from blaming or finding fault with people 
even to the extent of ignoring their rebellion against Allah. 
There are also five faults from which one should cleanse 
onself: hypocrisy, argument, affectation, artificiality, and love 
of property and rank; and five curses from which one should 
free oneself: miserliness, ambition, anger, greed, and glut- 

You can correct your state by correcting your actions. 
Abul- 1 Abbas ibn al-Khashshab reports that Dhu Nun al-Misri 
said: "The one who settles his affairs finds peace and 
comfort; the one who strives to come closer, comes closer; 
the one who keeps pure becomes cleansed; the one who 
trusts in God finds security; the one who mixes himself into 
affairs that do not concern him may lose the things that 
should concern him." 

Humility is one of the requirements of Futuwwah. To be 
humble is to accept the Truth and to be noble. Abul- 'Abbas 
Muhammad reports that Ja'far ibn Harun related that Fudayl 



was asked about humbleness. He said that humbleness was to 
submit to Truth, to be led to it, and to accept it from 
whomever one hears it from. When asked about Futuwwah, 
Fudayl said that one should be noble in dealing with people. 
Prefer the well-being and comfort of your brothers over 
your own, and relieve them of their difficulties. Abul-'Abbas 
al-Makhrami reports that Muhammad ibn Abu Ja'far al- 
Haddad was on the path of resignation [tawakkul] for ten 
years. He worked hard in the marketplace, but did not even 
buy a glass of water for himself, nor did he use his daily pay to 
go to the public baths. He distributed it all to the poor people 
of Shunziyyah and other places. When night came, he went 
from door to door, gathering crumbs of bread with which to 

break his fast. 

You should have little association and a great deal ot 
patience with ordinary people, and be satisfied with the 
absolute minimum. 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad reports that 
Yahya ibn Mu'adh said: "To associate with ordinary people is 
a curse; to be patient with their ways is very difficult. If you 
feel the absolute need to associate with people, you should 
keep company with believers, talk with them, befriend them, 
and try to learn their state so that you can also be with them 
in the hereafter," 

To be modest and not to show pride toward your brothers 
are requirements of Futuwwah. 'Ali ibn Muhammad al- 
Qazwini reports that Abul-Husayn al-Maliki said that a wise 
man remarked that pride only results in others looking down 
upon one and finding one unbearable. 

When you begin a worthy task, complete the good deed 
and do not leave it half done. Sa'id al-Madani read this poem 
by Abul-Hasan ibn Abu Balgh: 




When you start a good deed, it becomes an obligation to 

complete it. 
A kindness promised has to be given. 
Remember my need. These thankful hands will stay with 

you forever. 
Stretch your hands, offer the thing that is good for me. 
Helping hands are bejeweled necklaces. 

Do not speak harshly to anyone. Abul-Qasim Ja'far ibn 
Ahmad al-Razi said his brother Abu 'Abdullah saw Bunnan al- 
Hammal go to an effeminate man and urge him to behave 
rightly. The man told him, "Get away from me, and mind what 
you have." Bunnan said, "What do I have?" The man 
answered, "When you left your house to come to me, you 
thought you were better than I; that is what you have, and that 
is enough for you to be concerned with." 

When the true followers of the path of Futuwwah speak on 
their own, or tell what they have heard from their sheikh, let 
it be in confirmation, not in negation. Abu Qasim al-Muqri 
says, "The first blessing bestowed on faithful novices 
entering the path of Suf ism comes when they accept as true 
that Allah has granted gifts to them and to their sheikhs, and 
that miracles have been shown to them." 

You must accept with grace the pains and troubles caused 
by your friends and apologize for them. 'Ubaydullah ibn 
'Uthman reports that ibn Masruq said, "Once I caused 
trouble to Abul-Qasim al-Haddad. In response he wrote this 

'If you try someone else, you will remember me 
and see what a treasure I am for you. 



When you rose up, I remained humble. 
I belonged to those who stayed small 

while their brothers gained favors. 
You will regret what you did and throw away your 

And you will know that what you did was out of 


"I went to him and said, 'I was not criticizing so that you 
should come and ask pardon, but because I saw loyalty in 

Listen to good discourses, participate in good conversa- 
tions, and abide by the prescribed behavior upon these 
occasions. Having good manners means showing respect to 
those who are superior to you; loving friendship and 
agreement to those who are your equals; kindness and 
compassion to those who are lower than you; obedience and 
modesty to your mother and father; and compassion in the 
education of children. It means caring for your womenfolk; 
visiting and doing good deeds for relatives; loving your 
brothers and eliminating all and everything that may prevent 
you from loving them; offering good-hearted smiles and 
generosity toward all humankind; knowing the values of the 
Sufis and respecting their rights; not showing any need 
toward the rich; accepting the knowledge from men who 
know; humbly obeying men of wisdom without negation; and 
fleeing from the dogmatic ones, heretics, profiteers, and men 
who wish to enslave others. 

In relation to knowing the value of the Sufis, my 
grandfather told me that Abu 'Uthman said, "Whoever has 
self-respect shows respect to others, and whoever does not 
have self-respect has no respect for others." 



Keep your friends' secrets and be loyal to them. Mansur 
ibn 'Abdullah reports that Rabi' al-Kamikhi told the 
following story in Ramla: "I was in the company of dervishes 
and had money with me. I took it all out and distributed it 
among them. My ego whispered to me, 'Keep one dirham for 
yourself,' so I kept one. Some days later, my appetite 
whispered, 'Get something to eat.' I went to the marketplace 
and gave the dirham to the shopkeeper. To my astonishment, 
1 saw that the silver had changed into copper. The shopkeeper 
would not accept it, nor would anybody else in the 
marketplace. I went to my brother dervishes and said, 'O my 
friends, forgive me. I cheated you by keeping this coin.' One 
of them took the coin, went to the marketplace, and bought 
enough bread and grapes for all of us to share." 

Expel all self-approval and pride from your being. Ibrahim 
al-Khawwas said, "Pride prevents one from knowing one's 
real value, as haste leads one away from Truth, and as 
gentleness and thoughtfulness prevent regret. All power 
belongs to Allah." 

Behave toward your friends in a way that will prevent them 
from doing something for which they would have to 
apologize. 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Damghani reports 
that Yahya ibn Mu'adh al-Razi said, "He who forces upon you 
a condition that necessitates apologies is not a friend. Neither 
is he a friend who does not offer you something before you 
ask for it." 

Envy is a dreadful thing from which you must flee. Abul- 
Qasim Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Nasrabadhi reports that 
'Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Hatam said, "These are the signs of 
those on the path of Futuwwah: They do not envy others for 
the gifts that Allah bestowed upon them; they do not see the 
faults of others, as they fear that Allah may afflict them with a 



similar sin; they are pleased with Allah's judgment of their 
state, whether it is in their favor or against them." 

A noble character that is expressed in action is a sign of 
this path. Al-Nasrabadhi tells of hearing a follower of the path 
say: "Nobility of character consists in holding to and acting 
upon Allah's Word in His Holy Book and following the 
example of His Prophet (s.a.w.s.)— being soft-natured and 
having a happy disposition, taking care not to mistreat others, 
and continuously doing good. Allah Most High chose His 
Prophet (s.a.w.s) on the basis of these sacred words: 'Take to 
forgiveness and enjoin good, and turn away from the 
ignorant!' " (Koran 7:199). 

Abu Bakr al-Warraq says on this subject; "In the older 
days, the followers of the path used to praise their friends and 
abase themselves. Today they praise themselves and abase 
their friends. They used to choose good and comfort for their 
friends and harshness and a hard life for themselves. Now 
they choose a hard life and harshness for their friends and 
gifts and comforts for themselves." 

Do not occupy the present with the preoccupations of the 
past and the future. 'Abdullah ibn Yahya reports that Yahya 
ibn Mu'adh said, "To worry about the affairs of the past and 
to be preoccupied with the affairs of the future takes the 
blessing out of life." 

'Ubaydullah ibn Yahya relates that Yahya ibn Mu'adh said, 
"Three habits will ameliorate your character and your 
actions: Do not consider the rich your enemies, but look 
upon them as a lesson. Do not regard the poor with 
arrogance, but look upon them with humbleness. Do not gaze 
at women with lustful eyes, but look upon them with 
compassion and kindness.' 

Spend what you have on your friends. Abu Bakr al-Razi 



reports that Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah al-Kattani said: "On 
the Day of Last Judgment, the servant of Allah will be asked a 
full accounting of his expenditures, with the exception of 
that which he spent on his friends, because Allah would be 
ashamed to ask for that." 

Show compassion both to the ones who obey and the ones 
who rebel. Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn Shadhan reports 
this story of Ibrahim al-Atrush: "We were sitting on the 
shores of the Tigris River with Ma'ruf al-Karkhi. A boat full 
of young people drinking and playing tambourines was 
passing by. One of the dervishes said, 'O Abu Mahfuz, do you 
see the ones who revolt against their Lord in that boat? Pray 
to Allah that they be cursed!' 

Ma'ruf lifted his hands to heaven and prayed in this 
fashion: 'O Allah, my Lord, I beg you to make these people as 
joyful in heaven as you have made them joyful in this world.' 

" 'But we asked you to curse them!' said one of his people. 

"Ma'ruf answered, 'My brothers, if God accords them joy 
in heaven, it will be because He has accepted their 
repentance.' " 

Know the value of your friends, and in their company 
forget all the good deeds you did for them. It is repeated by 
Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn 'Abdul-'Aziz that Abul-Qasim 
Ishaq ibn Muhammad said: "When I left Abu Bakr al-Warraq, 
I asked him to tell me with whom I should associate. He 
answered, 'With those who forget the favors they have done 
for you. Beware of those who remember the help they have 
given you, and remind you of it when they meet you. Also 
beware of those who value you according to their needs, 
which they expect you to satisfy.' " 

Be more preoccupied with your inner state than with your 
external state, because the inner state is what Allah looks at, 


whereas the outward appearance is what people look at. Abu 
Bakr al-Razi reports that Abu Ya'qub al-Sufi said: "There are 
men who will devote fifty years of effort to guarding against 
the slips of the tongue in recitation of the Koran, yet are not 
at all mindful of the slips that their inner being makes. People 
in that state are misguided." 

Be exceedingly conscious of your manners in social 
intercourse. Sahl ibn 'Abdullah advised: "Be just to your 
enemies and benevolent and loyal to your friends." 
(IK) Keep your good manners even when you are by yourself, 

alone with Allah. Abu Nasr al-Isfahani reports that Abu 
Muhammad al-Jurayri said: "I have never sat with my legs 
stretched out when I was alone." Abu Bakr al-Razi reports 
that Abu Yazid al-Bistami related that he woke up one night, 
prayed, sat, and stretched his legs. He heard a voice saying, 
"Those who sit with a Sultan should sit with the proper 


The followers of the path are advised to keep old affections 
and relations. The Prophet (s.a.w.s.) says that Allah likes old 
friendships. Abu Bakr al-Razi reports that Abu Muhammad al- 
Maghazili said, "One who wants to continue to receive love 
and care should be faithful to his old affections and 

Hide your states. Sahl ibn 'Abdullah said, "Five things 
express the beauty of a being: when the poor appear rich; 
when the hungry appear satisfied; when those with heavy 
hearts appear joyful; when love is shown to an enemy; when 
feebleness does not appear despite fasting the whole day and 
praying the whole night." 

On the necessity of being continuously aware of one's 
outer and inner states, Abu 'Ali al-Juzajani said, "Consistency 
in this path depends on the heart being in constant agreement 




with Allah and the spirit in constant battle with the body." 
Renounce the whims of your ego and your negative 
attitude. Do not let your ego's every wish lead you, because it 
can ony lead you into darkness; whims are created from 
darkness. Abide with your intelligence, because it will lead 
you to light, to the realm of Allah's attribute ai-Jabbar (the 

Cleanse your being from revolt and beautify it with 
obedience to Allah. Abu 'AH al-Juzajani said: "Decorate your 
ego with piety and fear of Allah. Cleanse it with consideration 
and fear; dress it up with conscience and love; then give it to 
the care of your Lord with submission and selflessness. 
Submit your ego to His Will, so that He will educate it and 
bring it up for you." 

(20) In order not to fall into calamity, save yourself from bad 
acquaintances. 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Isfandiyar 
declared in Damghan a saying of Yahya ibn Mu'adh al-Razi: 
"The more one mixes with bad company, the more one will 
fall into error. Whoever protects himself from bad company 
and their talk will be saved by Allah from empathizing with 
them and inclining toward their ways." 

(21) Be careful and stingy with your faith, and free and 
generous with your property. 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad 
Isfandiyar al-Damghani declared in Damghan that Yahya ibn 
Mu'adh al-Razi said: "The believer may be cheated out of his 
property, but never out of his religion. And while the religion 
of the hypocrite could easily be taken away from him, it is 
impossible to take away any of his property." 

A follower of the path of Futuwwah will prefer his 
spiritual master over everything that he may possess in this 
world. Abu 'Ali al-Bayhaqi reports that Abu Bakr ibn Yahya 
al-Sufi tells the following story. The caliph al-Ma'mun came 



home one day and told his household, servants, and slaves 
that they could take whatever they wished from the contents 
of the house, and it would be theirs. Everyone ran to claim 
some valuable object. Only one slave did not leave the side of 
the caliph, not caring what was going on, just looking at his 

"Why do you not also go and take something?" asked the 


The slave replied, "Do you mean what you say, O Master 
of the Believers, that I may have for myself whatever I 

"Yes," answered al-Ma'mun. The slave took hold of the 
caliph and said, "1 want only you and nothing else." The 
caliph gave him much more than the others took, and from 
that time considered none equal to him. 

All thanks are due to the Lord of the Worlds and all 
blessings and salutations to our Master Muhammad and his 



In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate and the 
Merciful; I put my trust only in Him. 

A principle of Futuwwah is never to forget your brothers in 
the path. Abu Muhammad al-Jurayri said: "Loyalty to and 
consideration for others is a means to awaken consciousness 
from the sleep of heedlessness and to prevent thoughts from 
the disasters of imagination." 

In your relationships with people, do not bow in front of 
men for the benefits of this world, and do not lower yourself 
by being condescending. Referring to this, Mu'awiyah ibn 
Abu Sufyan said: "The one who comes to you with a bowed 
head to ask for something, comes to you selling Allah's 
blessings bestowed upon him, and loses his dignity for the 
sake of your power." 

The qadi [judge] Abu 'Ali al-Husayn ibn Ahmad al-Bayhaqi 
recites a poem of Muhammad ibn Hazim: 

To wear clothes torn in two pieces 

and to be bent in hunger two nights and a day 
Is better than to bow in need 

that closes the eyes with shame. 


My family is numerous, my wealth next to nothing. 

I still live with God's direct sustenance 

And do not sell my dignity by asking from others. 

My needs are between my Lord and myself, 
And no other than He will ever know. 

Relations between brethren must be such that when they 
see each other, their hearts should fill with joy. Isma'il ibn 
Abu 'Umayyah said: "It should be easy to go and see a friend 
among the brethren, and one should not hesitate to do so. Be 
wise, see how important it is, and consider it a blessing and a 
gift." Ibn Mubarak said, "To see one's brethren strengthens 
one's faith, and is a cure for illness." Sufyan al-Thawri 
declared that he had no other pleasure left in this world 
except to be with friends. 

Among brethren, all should do good deeds for each other 
without being asked. Sa'id ibn al-'As said: "To really help is 
to help without being asked. Even if you gave all you 
possessed to someone who came begging for something and 
was unsure whether you would give it or not, all that you 
could give him would never equal what he had lost." In the 
town of Kufa, Abu Dharr al-Mundhiri al-Warraq recited the 
following line from a poem: "Allah's curse be upon him who 
takes from the hand from which he begged in need." 

You must also serve without being asked. Sufyan al-Thawri 
said, "It is contrary to Allah's noble ethics not to serve when 
you are able to serve." Al-Ma'mun said to al-Fadl ibn al- 
Rabi': "Consider it a happy occasion when you are able to 
provide help to someone in need, because you do not know 
what the next moment will bring; destinies may change and 




life may be so short that you may not complete an act nor see 
a joy mature." 

Thus you should show graciousness to the needy and shy 
away from the rich and powerful. Al-A'mash reports that 
Abraham (s.a.w.s.) used to show joy at the coming of poor 
guests, and serve them with pleasure. But when rich and 
noble guests came to his house, he would serve them with 

In your relationships, if you should encounter an insolent 
person, show understanding and forbearance; and if you 
should meet someone who does you harm, respond with 
forgiveness. Abu Bakr al-Mufid reports that the father of 
Muhammad ibn 'Isa al-Qurayshi heard a man advising his son 
in this manner: "Be gentle with those who are harsh with 
you; forgive those who cause harm to you. Always leave room 
for peace and harmony, so that your friends will come even 
closer to you and your enemies will be ashamed of what they 
did to you." 

Show continuous love and understanding, and never leave 
your friends because of the inconvenience that they may 
cause. Sheikh Abu Sahl Muhammad ibn Sulayman reports that 
Ahmad ibn Yahya recited this poem: 

A friend who meets you with a sour face 
and finds other friends when you leave 
is not a friend. 

A friend is he who is ever united with me 
and keeps my secrets from everyone. 

Abul-Fath al-Qawwas al-Zahid said in Baghdad, "One who 



changes friends for no reason must have shown love only for 


A follower of the path must have a high goal in both 
spiritual and material matters. Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah al- 
Razi reports that Junayd once said, "A person's value is 
according to his intentions and aims. If someone's goal is the 
worldly and the world, his value is nil. He whose goal is the 
hereafter has a great value, as great as the Paradise between 
the heavens and the worlds. The value of one whose sole 
purpose is Allah's pleasure, is Allah's pleasure on earth and in 
heaven. His value cannot be measured by any other means. As 
Allah Most High says: 'Allah's pleasure is greater than 
everything' " (Koran 9:72). 

Abu Tayyib al-Shirazi said: "As I was leaving Abu Bakr al- 
Tamastani, 1 asked him for advice. He said, "Try harder." 

Abu 'AH al-Ja'fari al-Basri recited Isma'il ibn 'Abbad's 
poem about his own state: 

They told me I was plagued with difficulties 
And my pain became the talk of the people. 
I said, "Leave me be with my pain and troubles, 
For a man's pain is in proportion to his effort." 

Abu Ahmad al-Hiri reports these words of Abu 'AH al- 
Thaqafi: "Have noble aspirations, for it is aspiration, not ego, 
that carries everything in this world. 'You have loaded on 
your heart things the body cannot bear.' Your heart carries 
what the body cannot." 

Uphold these five virtues for the preservation of your 
being: Keep safe what has been lent to you; protect and 
preserve the good in yourself; be truthful and honest; be 




patient, pure, and selfless toward your brothers; and seek the 
salvation of your soul. Whoever loses one of these virtues 
loses his aim. Some wise men have said, "The one who 
possesses these six qualities knows that he indeed possesses 
Futuwwah: He is thankful for the little that he has, patient 
amid the greatest trouble, kindly to the ignorant, and 
generous so as to educate the miser; he seeks no praise for 
doing good, and does not stop doing what he believes to be 
good out of fear of criticism." Yahya ibn Mu'adh said that 
Futuwwah is peace, generosity, loyalty, and modesty. 

Abul-Hasan ibn Sam'un said that Futuwwah is not doing in 
secret that which would shame you if done openly. Abul- 
Husayn al-Maliki said: "Futuwwah is superior character and 
behavior, and inner purity." 

Abu 'Amr al-Dimashqi said: "Futuwwah is considering 
other people's actions with tolerance while regarding your 
own with dissatisfaction; respecting the rights of those who 
are superior, inferior, or equal to you; and adhering to your 
friends despite their mistakes and wrongdoings, because 
when you love someone, his cruelty should incite your 
loyalty. The beloved's turning away from you should make 
you go toward him. Anger, either felt or expressed, should 
have no part in loving friendship; otherwise love is lacking, 
and the relationship depends only on interest." 

Abu Sa'id al-Razi recites these lines of Ibn al-Anbari: 

I will force myself to forgive all who have sinned, 
no matter how often and how much they have sinned. 

Men are of three kinds only: noble men, men of honor, 
and men who endure. 


I know to respect those who are above me, and raise 
myself to truth. Truth is all that is necessary. 

Kindness must be the judge of the faults and errors 
of those who are my equals. 

The wish of one who is less fortunate than I becomes 
a matter of honor to me, no matter what others think 
and say. 

This is how I stand. 

Love must be met by love, because the only response to 
love is love. Abu Bakr al-Mufid reports that Ibn al-Mubarak 
said: "Respond with pure love and follow in obedience those 
who love you and think well of you." 

Compassion must be the basis of your relationships in 
Futuwwah. Junayd was asked about compassion toward 
others. He answered, "Give them what they want, do not ask 
them to do something that is beyond their capacity, and do 
not tell them things that they will not understand." Someone 
was asked the extent of his compassion toward his brothers. 
He answered, "If a fly were to sit on my brother's face, I 
would feel it on my own face," and he recited this couplet: 

I am jealous of the earth upon which you walk. 
O, I wish instead that you would walk on my face 
so long as I live. 

Ruwaym was questioned about compassion. He answered, 
"Know that I have no joy in this world other than my 





brothers' joy. Neither do I feel any pain except the pain that 
my brothers feel." 

Another follower of this path was asked about the love and 
compassion he felt for his brethren, He replied; "When I see 
them, I am sad that all my being is not one eye to see them, 
and I am jealous of my own eyes; and when my ears hear their 
voices, I wish that my whole being were an ear to hear their 
voices, and I am jealous of my ears." He added, "One night, 
Khidr* came to my house and sang to me, and I felt the same 
way about him — I wished that my whole being could hear 
him." A sheikh asked him, "How should one express one's 
wish for one's friends?" he answered, "One should be able to 
say: 'I have truly experienced that all my being became an ear 
to listen to them.' " 

Someone read this poem: 

In my care for you, 1 protect you from my own eye. 
Perchance my sight hurts you; I close my eyes. 
When I see you thinking about yourself, 
I am jealous of your thoughts. 
I am jealous of the angels on your two shoulders. 
If I could, I would stop the words 
that caress your lips. 

Another friend was asked about how much concern and 
love he felt for his friend. He said, "As long as I see him, I do 
not care to see anything else. As long as I hear his words, I do 

* A guiding spirit existing at all times who appears in human form to help 
those worthy to be guided. 



not care to hear anyone else." And he recited, "If I could, I 
would close my eyes to everything except you." 

Another friend said: "During the days I was separated from 
my friends, the yearning for their presence made me deaf and 
dumb to all others. Do you know of such an affliction as 
being rendered deaf on account of your friends' absence?" 

Leave all your preoccupation with yourself, with your own 
interests and needs, and take care of the dependents Allah has 
bestowed upon you. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Urnar 
forgot his own hunger but fed his slaves, and neglected his 
own clothes but dressed his servants well. In every way he 
preferred their needs to his own. He used to say that doing 
this was easiest for him, and that it was protection against the 
terrors of his ego. 

In contrast, anger and negativity are evils that you should 
escape from. Mu'awiyah ibn Abu Sufyan said, "Why should I 
be angry about what I possess, and why should 1 be angry 
about what I do not possess?" If I have power, then I am able 
to put things right for myself; why should I get angry? If I 
have no power, what is the sense of my getting angry, as it 
will do no harm to my enemy?" 

Know the value of time and how to act and behave in the 
present. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi reports that Junayd said, "The 
best deeds are done when a man knows the value of time. 
When he keeps his attention only on the demands of present 
situations, he prevents himself from overstepping the 
boundaries that Allah has assigned him; this also prevents him 
from following anyone but his Lord." 

Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Tirmidhi said, "No one but 
[Muhammad] al-Mustafa (s.a.w.s) was able to obey the rules 
of the right time and the right action. He said: 'I have 





submitted myself to You, left my affairs in Your hands. None 
other is my support.' He also said: i take refuge in You from 
You.' Allah Most High in turn tells us about the presence of 
His Prophet (s.a.w.s.), beautifying him and praising him: 
'And surely thou hast sublime morals' " (Koran 68:4). 

See only good in your friends and, observing evil in 
yourself, know that you are far from good. This is the proper 
attitude for you. Abu 'Abdullah al-Sajazi said: "As long as you 
do not see your virtues, you are virtuous; if you see your 
merits, you have no merits." Abul-Husayn al-Farisi reports 
that Shah ibn Shuja' al-Kirmani said: "As long as they do not 
see their merit, the possessors of merit are virtuous. When 
they attribute virtue to themselves, their merits are canceled. 
Saints do not claim sainthood. The ones who claim to be 
saints, even if they were, are deprived of their sanctity." Shah 
ibn Shuja' asked Abu Hafs about Futuwwah. Abu Hafs 
answered, "Futuwwah is morals." 

Sincerity felt and expressed outwardly toward your 
brethren is the basis of this morality. The governor Abu 
Ahmad al-Hafiz reports these words of a wise man; "One of 
the rules of the brethren is that they should love each other 
wholeheartedly, teach and educate each other with their 
words, aid each other with their property, straighten each 
other with their morals, and defend each other in their 
absence. Associate with those who are superior to you in your 
spiritual dealings and with those who are less fortunate than 
you in your worldly dealings." 

'Uthman ibn Hakim said: "In religious associations, 
befriend those who are superior to you, and in worldy 
associations, befriend those who are inferior to you. 
Associating spiritually with people who are inferior to you 


will weaken your discipline and obedience to Allah. 
Associating in worldly affairs with people who are less 
fortunate than you will magnify Allah's gifts to you and 
strengthen your thankfulness." 

Dawud al-Ta'i said, "Befriend the believers, because they, 
of all the people of this world, will give you the least trouble 
and the most help." Trust your Lord and hope only from 
Him. Sufyan ibn 'Uyaynah relates that someone asked Abu 
Hazim about the extent of his fortune. He answered, "I 
possess only two things: One is my trust in God, that I ask 
only of Him; the other is my lack of desire for what is in the 
hands of other people." 

Have good wishes for your brothers, and show more 
kindness to your friends than to your relatives. Husayn ibn 
Yahya al-Shafi'i reports that Ja'far ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq 
said: "Whoever does not behave toward his brethren as he 
behaves toward himself is not paying brotherhood its due. Do 
you not see how God Most High, in His Holy Book, declares 
that the son will run away from his father and the brother [by 
birth] from his brother on the Day of Last Judgment? Then 
He indicates the compassion among friends by saying: 'So we 
have no intercessors, nor a true friend' " (Koran 26: 100-101). 
Protect every limb of your body and your inner being from 
sinning. Someone asked Abul-Hasan al-Bushanji to define 
Futuwwah. He answered: "It is preventing yourself from any 
action of which you would be ashamed if Karim and Katib, 
the two angels on your shoulders who record your deeds, 
would witness it." 

Hudhayfah al-Mar'ashi said, "Futuwwah determines the 
right use of the eye, the heart, the tongue, and the desires. 
Prevent your eye from falling on anything unlawful; let your 



tongue speak only the truth; do not let your heart contain 
vengeance or treachery; do not let your desires lead you to 

Abul-Husayn ibn Sam'un said: "Futuwwah means opposing 
and arguing little, being fair; preventing errors in oneself and 
not criticizing the errors in others; trying to correct one's 
faults; accepting accusations; enduring troubles caused by 
others; lowering one's ego; being pleasant to both the old and 
the young, doing good deeds, giving good advice, and 
accepting advice; loving one's friends, and bearing peacefully 
with one's enemies. These are the visible aspects of the path 
that are sufficient for us to know until we are able to hear and 
tell about the truths of Futuwwah." 

Your inner feelings and the outward expression of these 
feelings, your whole inner being, and your total appearance 
must be one and the same. Abu Dujanah reports that Dhu 
Nun al-Misri said, "A person who does in secret what he 
would be ashamed to do in public has no self-respect; in fact, 
he does not even consider himself a living being." 

To be good is to empty and cleanse your essence of the 
universe and all that it contains. Abul-'Abbas ibn 'Ata' says: 
"He who does not separate his spirit from the world, does 
not empty his soul of the people, and cannot remove his 
essence from the veils of his ego, cannot be one with his 
Lord. But he who can free his spirit from everything but Allah 
will receive many gifts, and he will know the difference 
between those who receive pleasure and blessings from their 
Lord and those who receive His wrath." 

Fear only your Lord, and you will need to fear nothing 
else. One of our ancestors told a wise man, "Why do you not 
buy some property so that you can later leave it to your 
children?" He responded, "That is not good advice. I might 


risk the consequences of possessing property for myself, but I 
prefer to entrust my children to my Lord; for them, 1 wish to 
leave my Lord as inheritance." 

Follow the advice of your brethren rather than your blood 
relatives. Hafiz Abu 'Ali 'Umar recited the following poem in 

My spiritual brethren are no different to me 

than my mother's sons. 
You may find me free, strong, and obeyed, 

but I am a slave to my brethren. 
I separate good deeds done and gifts given, 
But join my consideration for my brethren 

to what I am. 

True hospitality and mutual respect are expressed in the 
following tale told by Abu Muhammad al-Jurayri: "Sheikh Ibn 
Masruq had invited us to his house. Along the way we 
encountered a friend and told him that we were invited to the 
sheikh's house but that we did not exactly know the way, and 
we asked him to take us there. He said, 'I was not invited; the 
sheikh might see me approaching his house with you.' 
Nevertheless he agreed to lead us so as not to oppose our 
wish. When we came to the sheikh's door, our friend stayed 
away. We told our host what had happened. The sheikh said, 
' I thought that my place in his heart was such that he would 
feel free to come to my house without invitation. If I have 
offended him, he must step on my cheek.' We tried to 
convince the sheikh that it was not necessary, but he had 
made an oath. So we laid a clean cloth on the floor, and the 
sheikh placed the side of his face there. We lifted our friend 



by the arms so that his feet lightly touched the sheikh's face. 
Then he was made to sit in the sheikh's place." 

Be very patient with your brethren, and do not change 
friends because of impatience. The prophet David told his 
son, the prophet Solomon: "Do not exchange an old and 
tested friendship for a new one. If you do, you will be 
changing one gift from Allah for another. Know that a 
thousand friends are too few, and even a single enemy is too 

Someone complained to a wise man about difficulties in 
the affairs of business and property. The wise man answered, 
"My brother, do you wish a better caretaker than Allah?" 

We must be patient with the way Allah has organized our 
lives. Someone said, "One who is impatient with the 
conditions of life that Allah has offered him is not going to be 
patient in letting Allah guide his spirit." Al-Wasiti said: 
"Whoever sees himself and everything else as belonging to 
Allah becomes one with Allah, and will not need anything 
else." Abul-'Abbas al-Dinawari said: "Whoever depends on 
himself alone will have regrets in the end. Whoever accepts 
what Allah has destined for him will be thankful to Allah both 
at the beginning and at the outcome of his affairs." 

When elders or those who have a higher spiritual rank 
invite a young novice, they must serve him with pleasure and 
love. Hafiz 'Ali ibn al-Husayn reports that Yahya ibn Aktham 
said that he was once invited by the caliph al-Ma'mun. He 
became thirsty in the middle of the night and got up to fetch 
water. He heard the caliph say, "Why are you not asleep, O 
Yahya?" He answered, "I was awakened by thirst, O 
Commander of the Faithful." The caliph ordered him to 
return to bed, and personally brought a glass of water to him, 
saying, "Do you not know that for a host to ask his guest to 




help is not good behavior?" He then added that the brother of 
Caliph Harun al-Rashid related that the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) had 
said: "To make one's guest serve is a cause for shame." 
If fate separates you from your brethren and friends, no joy 
is left in life. Al-Husayn ibn Yahya said that Ja'far ibn 
Muhammad told how Junayd was seen one day extremely sad 
and thoughtful. Someone asked him, "O Abul-Qasim, what 
distresses you?" He answered, "I lost my friends with whom I 
was close; I lost my being in seclusion; from there on the 
body is crushed and the heart is troubled." He recited the 
following poem: 

After suffering the pangs of love 

I have no place to go. 

How empty it is 

When the beloved is gone. 

Hafiz 'Ali ibn 'Umar recited the poem of 'Ubaydullah ibn 
'Abdullah ibn Tahir: 

If one were free to throw oneself away, 

One would cast oneself away when one's friends are 

To live away from those whom one loves 
Is not living at all. 

Still another poem was recited: 

They are gone and lost to my eyes; the body is burnt. 
The shade of the shadow of the friend is gone. 
If I am seen alive, parted from them so, 
How can I dare to look into those eyes? 



Woe to me if I am told, I am living, 

So what does it matter if I am left behind? 

Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Khalidi al Baghdad i reports 
that Ibn Khalawayh said that someone asked Ibn Jarir, "Do 
you remember your father saying that if he knew that his next 
meeting with his friends would not be before the Day of Last 
Judgment, he would do something that he had not done 
previously?" He then asked Ibn Jarir what that action would 
have been. Ibn Jarir replied that his father would have taken 
his eyes out to avoid seeing the parting of his friends. 

Muhammad ibn Tahir al-Waziri recited this poem: 

Before I heard someone say, "The ships are here," 

I did not know the pangs of pain. 
He is about to take leave; his tears are shaking him 

like a branch in the wind, 
Finally waning, he left, and his last words were 

"Oh, I wish you had never been." 

Help continuously and do good deeds without interrup- 
tion. Hafiz 'Ali ibn 'Umar relates that al-Mahdi the Caliph 
said, "There is no one who comes to me for help who has not 
seen both my hands stretched out to him. Nothing pleases me 
more than someone asking me for gifts for Allah's sake. If 
only once one did not give what was asked for, all one had 
given would be worth nothing." 

Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad ibn al-' Abbas al-'Usmi relates 
this advice of Ibrahim ibn Shaklah: "Once you have become 
brothers with someone on this path, do not complain 
anymore of his actions, whether they are right or wrong, good 
or bad, whether your brother is selfish or a spendthrift who 



throws everything away. When he is grabbing, be thankful. 
When he is a spendthrift and wastes things, be patient. 
Whether he is good or bad, give him his due. The right word 
at the right time helps love to endure." It is also said that, at 
times, "to openly reprimand is better than keeping a 

Whether a friend is with you or away from you, continue 
loving him. 'Umar ibn Ahmad recites a poem of Yazjd al- 

If you part from us, may God lead you 

to beautiful places. 
When you come to us, you are always welcome. 
When you go, do not fear that we will ever forget you. 
When you come, do not feel that we will ever have 

enough of you. 

Do not lend your ears to slander against your friends. 
Yusuf ibn Salih recites this poem: 

I do not hear the voice of these times, 

So I do not hear a word against my friends. 

I do not keep in my memory a single fault 

of the ones I love. 
I protect my friends so that they need not protect me. 

And do not let others know of your good actions. Abu 
'Amr ibn Matar relates these words of Ibn Shibrimah: "When 
good is told, there is no longer any good in it." 

With Allah's will, the fifth part will follow. 



In the Nai «e of Allah, the Compassionate and the Merciful; 

1 put my trust only in Him. 

Tru^ an d depend on your Lord alone, in any situation, at 
home or a broad. It is the best guarantee. Abul-Qasim 
'Abdul? an ion Muhammad al-Dimashqi advised a man who 
wa s ab out to go on a journey: "My brother, do not take a 
travelir^S companion, nor befriend anyone on your journey, 
for A 11^" 1S sufficient as your companion. He is the one who 
will he? J P you to face difficulties. He is the one who will 
respond to every good act with a reward. He is the one who 
will igr* or e your faults and your mistakes, and He will be with 
you at eve ry step f your journey." 

You should not wait for a need to be expressed before you 
try to s s ry it, but from circumstances and signs you should 
discover needs among your brothers and help before being 
asked. £ n eikh Abu Sail Muhammad ibn Sulayman relates this 
story fr^ m H>n al-A'rabi: 'Umayyah ibn Abul-Salt went to visit 
[Abu ZHbayr] 'Abdullah ibnjud'an. In 'Abdullah's household 
were tvv° knights of Futuwwah. They were nicknamed the 
"Fireba lls - 'Umayyah greeted Abu Zubayr and recited this 



Need I tell you of my need, or is it enough 
for me to see that you are ashamed, 
because shame is a part of your character? 
You know what justice is because you are the branch 

of such a great and honorable family tree. 
Your ancestors are the possessors of benevolence, 
and the generous are not held back morning or 
evening from serving the needs of others. 
Your land is the fertile land of giving 

upon which you built the house of benevolence. 
You are the sky over this domain. 
You race with the winds to help and to honor. 
When a dog hides from the chill of the winter, 

you keep it warm in your palace. 
When one praises you, he need only say a word 
and you know what his need is. 

'Abdullah showed 'Umayyah the people in his company. 
"Pick one of these, whomever you wish." 'Umayyah took 
one man by the hand and brought him to the meeting place of 
his tribe, the Quraysh. They told him, "O 'Umayyah, why did 
you bring this old man, whose years are advanced and whose 
bones are weak, when you could have chosen the two young 
Fireballs? Why did you not pick one of them?" 'Umayyah felt 
regret and went back to 'Abdullah. When 'Abdullah saw him 
again, he said, "I understand; do not speak. Let me tell you 
why you came." He repeated exactly what the tribe had told 
him, and, pointing to one of the youths, he said, "Take this 
one," and recited this poem: 

Your gift is an adornment to the man to whom you 

give it — 
But not every gift serves to adorn him. 




That a man shows you deference does not shame him — 
But sometimes to ask brings him to shame. 

Hold your friend's honor higher than your own, and prefer 
that you yourself be abased rather than others. Muhammad 
ibn 'Abdullah reports that al-Husayn ibn 'Ali al-Qumasi 
related this incident: 'Isam al-Balkhi asked to see Hatim al- 
Asamm. Hatim allowed him into his presence. Later he was 
asked why he had agreed to see 'Isam. Hatim answered, "In 
inviting him to my presence, I saw my abasement and his 
honor. In refusing to admit him, I would have seen my honor 
and his abasement. I preferred his honor above mine and my 
abasement over his," 

In service and benevolence, you should not choose one 
over another, and you should not discriminate. 'Abdullah ibn 
Muhammad al-Razi says, "Humility is serving indiscrimin- 

Do not give more to one and less to another. Give to 
everyone, and belittle what you give, putting greater 
importance on what others do. Abu 'Uthman Sa'id ibn Abu 
Sa'id reports the following incident from Ja'far ibn Muham- 
mad al-Khuldi. Abu Bakr al-Qazzaz, an Egyptian, was a good 
man, and many Sufis visited him. Members of other orders 
and other people often came to his house also. He treated 
them all equally. Once he was asked why he was so 
indiscriminate. He answered, "I am not one of those honored 
men who know the inner worth of people and can tell them 
apart. I fear that I might make a mistake, and I am even more 
afraid to lose what I hope for." 

In your appearance, use and show all the signs of good 
behavior and moral character, and secretly and inwardly try to 
resolve your inner states. 


Abul-Husayn al-Farisi reports that Abu Muhammad al- 
Jurayri said, "To possessors of inner knowledge, faith has ten 
resources. Five of them are outward, and five of them are 
secret and inner. The outward values require that a person be 
truthful in speech, satisfied with little in wealth and property, 
and humble in physical appearance, and that he avoid being a 
burden to others or causing them sorrow, yet support the 
burden that they become and the sorrows that they cause 
without resentment. The inner values require that one prefer 
the presence of one's sheikh to everything, fear separation 
from him, hope for union with him, regret one's mistakes and 
faults, and have shame before one's Lord." 

It is very harmful to appear in the costume of Futuwwah 
and assume other external signs of it before one has fulfilled 
its conditions and borne its heavy load. Abu 'Abdullah al- 
Sajazi was asked why he was not wearing the tattered and 
patched cloak of the path. He answered, "It would be 
hypocrisy to wear the clothes that identify the followers of 
Futuwwah before carrying on one's shoulders the weight of 
this path. A man can carry the attributes of Futuwwah only 
after he has tested whether or not he can support its weight." 
When he was asked about the nature of Futuwwah, he 
answered, "Futuwwah is knowing that others can be forgiven 
for their misdeeds, but that you yourself are always at fault; 
that everyone and everything else is complete, while you 
yourself are lacking. Futuwwah is showing understanding and 
compassion equally to what appears good and what appears 
bad. The highest form of Futuwwah is when nothing occupies 
you but Allah." 

Ma'ruf al-Karkhi says, "Anyone who claims to be on this 
path must show these three signs: total loyalty without fear, 



generosity without any demand or hope for praise, and the 
desire to give without being asked." 
(1) Unity with one's friends, sorrow at the thought of being 

separated from them, and the effort to be with them always 
also characterize adherence to this path. In Baghdad, Abul- 
Hasan ibn Miqsam al-Muqri related a tale told by Muhammad 
ibn Yazid. An Arab had a very beautiful concubine. He 
admired her and was captivated by her. The man was a 
gambler, and he lost all his wealth. Nothing was left to him 
except this beautiful woman. He began to go to his friends, 
beg and borrow from them, and thus support his companion. 
When the concubine found out what he was doing, she said, 
"Do not do that. Sell me instead. If Allah wills, He will 
reunite us again." The Arab brought his concubine to 'Umar 
ibn 'Ubaydullah ibn Ma' mar, governor of Persia. When 'Umar 
saw her, he liked her very much and asked the Arab how 
much he wanted for her. He answered, "A hundred thousand 
dirhams, but she is worth much more to the one who knows 
her value." 'Umar bought the concubine. As the Arab was 
leaving with his money, the woman recited this poem: 

Let the money you took be of good use to you. 

Only my memories of you are left to me. 

When my tears surge and I tell myself, 

'Who cares if you cry?', where should I turn but to the 

pain in my heart? 
With whom should I converse 
And of whom should I think? 

The man, casting a parting glance at the concubine, wept and 



If it were not for the tyranny of fate, 

Nothing but death would have separated us. 

I will put my head against the head of the pain 

of your absence, and I will speak only with it 

and think of you alone. 
Farewell — we shall not see each other, 
For it is left to the will of Ibn Ma' mar. 

Ibn Ma'mar spoke: "If it is left to me, let it be! Take your 
companion and the money too." The man left in great joy 
with his concubine and the money, and 'Umar said, "Allah 
knows that I could not have bought a greater reward for my 
hundred thousand dirhams than to lawfully unite two lovers 
and save them from the terrible pain of separation." 

You must give without being asked. Anything given after 
being asked for is merely reparation for the embarrassment 
suffered by the asker. The generous should not cause 
embarrassment to others. Abu 'Abdullah ibn Battah tells of 
the advice that 'Ubaydullah ibn 'Abbas gave to his brother's 
son. "The best of gifts is the one given without being asked, 
because if you are asked, what you give is only payment for 
the supplicant's embarrassment." 'Ubaydullah recited: 

The one in embarrassment asked but received nothing, 

For when he weighed what he had received, 

His pain was heavier than what had been given to him. 

Then he recited: 

Whether you are miserly or generous, 

The water pouring from your hands will not wash 

The embarrassment from my face. 



The best behavior is to see a gift of Allah in everything you 
receive. 'Ali ibn Muhammad al-Qazwini reports that Abu 
Yazid said: "If you have a friend whose relationship with you 
is at its worst, the relationship will certainly improve if you 
act according to the code of behavior. If something is given to 
you, be thankful to Allah, because He alone turns the hearts 
of others in your favor. If you suffer calamity, take refuge in 
repentance and patience, because your being will gather 
strength only with patience." 

When you give, give to the ones who will know how to use 
what you have given. Abu 'Abdullah ibn Battah al-'Ukbari 
related in 'Ukbar this saying of al-Hurqah bint al-Nu'man ibn 
al-Mundhir to Sa'd ibn Abu Waqqas: "May Allah protect you 
from any harm caused by a good man, and may He prevent 
you from begging for your sustenance from anyone but Him. 
May Allah not be displeased and take His gifts away from a 
generous person because of you, nor make you a cause of 
returning a gift to the one through whose hands He gave." 

Among your brethren, freely distribute what is yours. Qadi 
al-Mu'afa ibn Zakariyya al-Jurayri recited the following poem 
from the grandfather of Yahya ibn Abu Hafsah: 

I was asked why I have less and less 

while everybody has more and more. 
I said, "God gives me more and more generosity 

and to others, more and more wealth. 

Avoid becoming the enemy of believers because of some 
malice they may bear. Muhammad ibn 'Abdul- Wahid al-Razi 
relates this advice of Salih ibn Hamzah: "Avoid being enemies 
of believers. The error of an otherwise good person or the 
enmity of the ignorant will not destroy you. Victory lies in 


being defeated by good; true defeat lies in being defeated by 
evil. Stay away from evil so that evil will stay away from 


Close your ears to evil words and restrain your tongue so 
that you will not speak them. Muhammad ibn 'Umar ibn al- 
Marzuban recites: 

Shut your ears to evil talk 

Just as you stop your mouth from speaking evil. 

Wake up: you become a partner in evil 

If you open your ears to evil talk. 

Many in this path lost their way with ambition, 

And death found them before they found their goal. 

Just as you distribute your property freely, so should you 
give away your rank and position. Muhammad ibn 'Umar ibn 
al-Marzuban recited: 

I shall give you my life; 

Keep me in your mind and help me not to want. 

As what I am grows with what you have, 

Let my rank and honor grow with your own. 

Abandon bad habits and attain good ones to form a good 
character within yourself. Abu 'Abdullah ibn Battah recited 
this poem of Ibn Masruq: 

One with a bad character has a worthless life; 

His vision narrows, as do his paths. 

No one can bear him; 

While a man of good moral is praised by all. 



To protect your neighbor's rights is a good deed. It is 
related that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) said: "Gabriel 
told me that I owe so much to my neighbor that one would 
think he was destined to become my heir." Abu 'Abdullah 
ibn Battah reports that al-Hasan al-Basri said, "The correct 
neighborly behavior is not to be a weight upon your neighbor, 
but to tolerate it when he torments you." 

One is especially expected to accept, endure, and respond 
to the needs and wants of others. 'Abdul- Wahid ibn Ahmad 
al-Hashimi recites the following poem of Ibn Durayd: 

Do not be bothered by the people who want something 

from you. 
Happy is the one from whom people want. 
Do not send away empty-handed the one who asks from 

For lasting honor belongs to him who is the source 

of hope. 

Do not respond to harm with harm. This is the way to 
smooth the path of brotherhood. 'Abdullah ibn Muhammad 
ibn 'Abdul -Rahman reports the following saying of 'Abdullah 
al-Juhani: "In mutual help, the brotherhood is rejuvenated, 
and hostilities and revenge disappear." 

Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad heard a simple Bedouin give this 
definition of Futuwwah: "One on the path gives food, shows 
a pleasant disposition, is honorable and modest, and never 
causes pain to anyone." 

Show continuous generosity to the needy. Muhammad ibn 
Tahir al-Waziri recited these lines: 



One on the path gives up all that he possesses 
But never gives up his generosity. 
He gives without being asked, 
For he does not wish others to suffer the pain 
of asking. 

On pardoning those who have caused you harm, Ja'far ibn 
Ahmad ibn Abu Za'id al-Misri mentions this poem by Mansur, 
recited by his father: 

My sin is great, but You are greater than my sin. 
Give Your pardon first, then cleanse me of my sin. 
In my need I lost all grace. 
You are the Grace, the Giver. 

Ja'far also recited this poem of Mansur the Jurist: 

If you see my faults, forgive them. 

Is this not an obligation of brotherhood? 

If you cause harm as I do, 

Where is your kindness and your generosity? 

Retire to seclusion when times are bad. Abu Bakr ibn Abu 
Ja'far al-Muzakki recites the following lines from a poem by 
al-Hakim 'Abdul-Hamid ibn 'Abdul-Rahman: 

Hand in hand with my loneliness I retire to my corner; 

In total solitude, happiness thrives. 

The times have educated me. How much better it would 

have been 
Had I gone to far places where I could not find anyone, 

nor anyone me 



Then as long as I lived, I would never have had to say 
The soldiers are marching and the princes are mounting 
their horses. 

Know and obey the principles of kindness as related by 
Muhammad ibn al-' Abbas and set forth by Zafir ibn 
Sulayman: "A man who is truly kind protects his faith, visits 
his relatives, improves his property, is generous to his 
brethren, and is discreet." 

When a friend is in a desparate situation, aid him and 
protect his rights. Sheikh Abu Sahl Muhammad ibn Sulayman 
relates that Abu Salim showed devoted attachment to his 
relative 'AH ibn isa, and served him day and night. But when 
Abu Salim was appointed to the high position of vizier in the 
government, he was not able to give 'AH the same attention as 
before. 'AH wrote him a letter, saying: 

My whole life I wished you would become a vizier. 
Now that my hopes are granted, people who could not 
speak when I was with you come before me. I really 
wish to die because this life which I resent now is more 
than death. 

'AH ibn Hamdan recites the following poem of Ibrahim ibn 
al-' Abbas: 

You were a good brother to me 

during the fraternity of good times, 
But as times changed, 

you became my adversary. 
I used to save you from ill and evil; 
Now 1 have to beg you to be relieved. 


I used to complain of the times to you; 
You see now I miss those times, 

which I prefer to you as you are now. 

Help and give to all without discrimination. Abul-Hasan 
ibn Muqsim declared in Baghdad that al-Mada'ini told that the 
last advice of Yahya ibn Khalid al-Barmaki to his son was to 
be generous to mankind always, because giving to others is 
giving to oneself. 

Respect the rights of people's homes, for the sake of the 
respect you must show to those who abide there. Abul-Fadl 
al-Sukri told a story from Abu 'Amr Muhammad ibn Isma'il: 
"I heard that a woman entered the castle of Sufyan ibn 'Asim. 
She rolled in the dust of the gardens and wrote on the walls, 
'For one who loves, to see the domains of the beloved an 
abandoned desert is sufficient for sorrow, Dwelling in them 
from morning till night he does not see them, nor notice that 
an age has settled upon them. The lover given over to 
patience finds that love increases with the pain of patience.' 
And she signed her name on the wall: Aminah, daughter of 
'Abdul-' Aziz, wife of Sufyan ibn 'Asim." 

If you love someone, love unconditionally, and beware of 
being disloyal. Abul-Mufaddal al-Shaybani reports this saying 
from Sufyan ibn 'Uyaynah: "The path of Futuwwah is called a 
brotherhood because it is composed of those who avoid 
disloyalty at all costs; and its members are called faithful 
because they are loyal to their love for each other." 

When one knows what the true love of a friend is, one can 
never speak ill of him. Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Tawbah al- 
Maruzi says: "If you know that someone truly loves you, all of 
his faults are already forgiven; if you know someone as an 



enemy, all of his good deeds cannot be recognized. May Allah 
guide you with His divine care. Know that the essence of 
Futuwwah is to care for your faith, to abide with the 
prescriptions of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.), and to act according 
to Allah's orders to His own Prophet (s.a.w.s.): 'Take to 
forgiveness, enjoin good, and turn away from the ignorant* 
[Koran 7:199] and 'Allah orders justice, the doing of good, 
and giving to relatives, and forbids indecency, evil, and 
rebellion, and He gives you advice so that you will be 
mindful' " [Koran 16:90]. 

Know that Futuwwah means following the honored words 
of the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) on the day he entered Mecca: "O my 
people, give salutations, wish the blessings of Allah upon each 
other, feed each other, visit your relatives, pray in the quiet 
of the night when all else is asleep, and enter salvation and 

And know that Futuwwah is gained by avoiding what our 
Master forbids: "Do not stay away from your family, do not 
turn your backs on each other, O good servants of Allah, be 
brothers to each other as Allah orders you to do." 

Be honest, loyal, and dependable; be generous; keep a 
beautiful character; be satisfied with little; do not make fun 
of your friends, and live with them in harmony; do not listen 
to slander; wish to do good; be a good neighbor; speak well 
and be loyal to your word; treat your household and those 
who are dependent upon you well; treat those who serve you 
well; educate the young and teach them good behavior; 
respect your elders and superiors; refrain from holding 
grudges and seeking vengeance; do not cheat or manipulate 
people, or criticize or talk against them. 

Love for Allah's sake and hate for Allah's sake. Be friends 



for Allah's sake and be enemies for Allah's sake. Distribute 
freely from your property and help others from the rank that 
has been bestowed upon you. Do not expect appreciation or 
praise; give when you are asked to show your wealth and your 
position; serve your guests with your own hands, and serve 
and give lovingly, not grudgingly. Feed your friends from your 
own food and show them respect; meet the needs of your 
brethren with your property and your very life; respond to 
others' faults with kindness; visit those who do not visit you; 
be humble and avoid arrogance; avoid self-love and do not 
think highly of your state. Do good consistently to your 
mother and father; visit your kin; do not see the faults of 
others, keep secret their wrongdoings, and advise them only 
when no one can hear; pray for the sinners and pardon their 
wrongdoings. Feel the evil and the terror of your ego, and the 
shame of going along with it. Show consideration to people 
and compassion, kindness, and good to the faithful and the 
Muslims, Pity the poor and be compassionate toward the rich; 
be modest before men of knowledge; discern the truth in 
what you hear and accept it. Save your tongue from lies and 
slander, save your ears from error, and save your eyes from 
looking at the unlawful. Be sincere and pure in your actions, 
be straight in your states. See what is good and beautiful in 
the Creation; escape from the evil and befriend the good. 
Turn away from the wordly and face Allah. Leave your wants; 
throw away the desire to be praised for your worldly 
achievement. Be honored by the company of the poor. Avoid 
respecting the rich for their riches; the real wealth is to be 
with one's Lord. Be thankful for what is given to you. Tell the 
truth without fearing anybody. Offer thanks for things in 
which you find joy, and be patient with the difficulties that 



you have to tolerate. Flee from the curse of disloyalty and 
keep others' secrets. When you are with company, sit at a 
place below that which is due to your rank. Give up your 
rights, while fully upholding the rights of others. Educate 
your ego. Abide by Allah's prohibitions when you are by 
yourself. Consult your friends in every matter. Trust in Allah 
when you are in need. Do not be ambitious. Show respect to 
the devout, show kindness to the sinful. Do not cause 
discomfort to anyone; let your outer self be the same as your 
inner self. Be friends with the friend of your friend and 
enemies with the enemy of your friend. No matter how far 
away your friend is, be with him. 

These are some of the signs of the ones who follow the 
path of Futuwwah. May Allah bestow upon us the good 
nature that He likes in His servants. May He sustain us with 
the character of the path. May He forgive us for our 
casualness with our time and with our states. May He bring us 
to the possibility of action that meets with His approval, and 
may He bring us to His proximity. He is near us; He is the 
One Who accepts prayers. 

All praise is due to the Lord of the Worlds. May Allah send 
His continuous blessings and salutations to our Master, the 
Master of all Prophets, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), and his pure 
progeny and his companions. 




1. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Raja' al-Abzari— Ahmad b. 
'Umayr b. Jawsa' — Abu 'Umayr 'Isa b. Muhammad- 
Muhammad b. Yusuf— Sufyan— Thawr b. Yazid— Rash- 
id — Mu'awiyah. 

2. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Ziyad— Muhammad 
b. Ishaq al-Thaqafi— Sa'id b. Yahya— his father— Yazid 
b. Kaysan — Abu Hazim — Abu Hurayrah. 

3. Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Sabih — 
'Abdullah b. Shiruyah— Ishaq al-Hanzali— jarir— Abu 
Hazim — Abu Hurayrah. 

4. Abul-Qasim Ibrahim b. Muhammad al-Nasrabadhi — 
Muhammad b. Rabi' — Sulayman al-Jizi in Egypt — his 
father— Talq b. al-Samh— Yahya b. Ayyub— Hamid— 

5. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-Hafiz — 'Abdul- 
lah b. Ayyub al-'Asqalani — Hashim b. Muhammad al- 
Ansari— 'Amr b. Bakr—'Abbad— Ayyub b. Musa and 
Isma'il b. 'Umayyah — Nafi' — Ibn 'Umar. 

6. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-Hajjaji — 'Abdul- 
lah b. Salih al-Mada'ini in al-Misaysah— Abul-Darda' 
Hashim b. Ya'la— 'Amr b. Bakr— Abu Jurayj— 'Ata' b. 



7. Abul-Husayn b. Sabih — Muhammad b, al-Musayyab al- 
Arghiyani — 'Abdul-Rahman b. al-Harith — Baqiyyah b. 
al-Walid — al-Awza'i — al-Zuhri — 'A'ishah. 

8. Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Faqih al-Maruzi — Mu- 
hammad b. 'Umayr al-Razi — Ishaq b. Ibrahim b. Yu- 
nus — Husayn b. Marzuq al-Nawfali — 'Abdullah b. Ibra- 
him al-Safari — 'Abdullah b. Abu Bakr, nephew of 
Muhammad b. al-Munkadar — Safwan b. Sulaym — 
'Ata'— 'A'ishah. 

9. Ibrahim b. Muhammad b. Yahya — Habshun b. Musa al- 
Khallal — Muhammad b. Hassan — Qabisah — Sufyan — 
Abdul-Malik b. Abu Bashir— 'Abdullah b. Abul- 

10. Ibrahim b. Ahmad al-Abzari — al-Husayn b. 'Ali b. 
Zakariyya al-Basri — 'Uthman b. 'Amr al-Dabbagh — Ibn 
'Ulathah — al-Awza'i — Yahya b. Abu Kathir — Ja'far — 
Abu Hurayrah. 

11. Isma'il b. Ahmad al-Khallali* — Abu Badr Ahmad b. 
Khalid b. 'Abdul-Malik— Makhlid b. Yazid— Abu 
Dawud al-Nakh'i — Abul-Juwayriyyah — Ibn al-'Abbas. 

12. Isma'il b. Ahmad al-Khallali — Muhammad b. al- 
Husayn b. Qutaybah — Ishaq b. Ibrahim b. Suwayd — 
Isma'il b. Uways — his father — Muhammad b. al-Mun- 
dakar — Abu Sa'id al-Khudri. 

13. Isma'il b. Ahmad al-Khallali — Muhammad b. al-Husayn 
b. Qutaybah— Hamid b. Yahya— Sufyan— 'Ata' b. al- 
Sa'ib — his father — 'Ali. 

*In Mu'jam al-buldan by Yaqut, the author gives the full name as Isma'il b. 
Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Khallali. — Trans. 







Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Zakariyya— Ahmad b. al- 
Husayn al-Hafiz and Makki b. 'Abdan — Muhammad b. 
Yahya al-Duhli — 'Abdul-Razzaq — Ma' mar — al-Zuhri — 
Ibn al-Musayyab. 

Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Quraysh — al- 
Husayn b. Sufyan — Muhammad b. Rumh — Ibn Luhay'ah 
—Yazid b. Abu Habib— Abul-Khayr— 'Uqbah b. 

Isma'il b. 'Abdullah Mikali and 'Ali b. Sa'd al- 
'Askari— Ja'far b. al-Fadl al-Rasibi— Muhammad b. 
Yusuf al-Firyabi — Abul-Aswad Mujahid b. Farqad al- 
Atrabulusi— Wathilah b. al-Khattab al-Qurashi. 
Abu 'Amr Muhammad b. Ja'far, Ibn Matar, and 
Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. 'Abdah— Yahya b. Yahya— 
'Abdul-Rahman b. Abul-Zinad— his father— 'Urwah. 
18. Abu Bakr al-Diwanji — al-Husayn b. Sufyan — 'Uthman b. 
Sa'id— Muhammad b. 'Imran b. Abu Bakr— Sulayman b. 
R a j a '_Salih al-Mari'— al-Hasan— Abu Sa'id al-Khudri. 
Abu 'Amr and Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Hamdan— 
'Imran b. Musa al-Sakhtiyani— Shayban b. Abu 
Shaybah— Abul-Asshab— Abu Nadrah— Abu Sa'id al- 

Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Sabih— 'Abdullah b. 
Shiruyah— Ishaq al-Hanzali— al-Nadr b. Shumayl— 
Shu'bah— Ya'la b. 'Ata'— al-Walid b. 'Abdul- Rahman- 
Abu Idris al-Khawlani. 

'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Ziyad— Muhammad 
b. Ishaq b. Khuzaymah— Abu Shu' ayb— Muhammad b. 
Muslim— Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Aws— Sulayman b. 
Hurmuz — 'Abdullah b. 'Amr. 
22. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad al-Simidi— 'Abdullah b. 






Muhammad b. 'Abdul-Rahman — Ishaq b. Ibrahim — 
Yahya b. Yahya — Ibn Luhay'ah — al-Harith b. Zayd — Ibn 
Hujayrah — 'Abdullah b. 'Amr. 

23. 'Abdullah b. Ahmad b. Ja'far al-Shaybani — Ahmad b. 
Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Bashani — Ahmad b. 'Abdullah al- 
Juwayri — Salm b. Salim — 'Abbad b. Kathir — Malik b. 
D inar — al- Hasan . 

24. Muhammad b. al-Fadl b. Muhammad b. Ishaq al- 
Thaqafi — Ishaq al-Hanzali — Hazim — Abu Hurayrah. 

25. Muhammad b. Ya'qub al-Asamm — al-'Abbas b. 
Muhammad al-Duri — Yahya b. Mu'in — ' Abdul- Rahman 
Bayya' al-Harawi — Ja'far b. Muhammad — his father. 

26. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. 'Ali— Abul-'Abbas al- 
Thaqafi — al-Husayn b. 'Isa — Ibn al-Mubarak — Sufyan — 
Abu Ishaq al-Hamdani — 'Amr b. Shurahbil — 'A'ishah. 

27. Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Quraysh — 
Musaddid b. Qatn — Dawud b. Rashid — Baqiyyah — 
Muhammad b. 'Abdul-Rahman — 'Ubaydullah — Nafi' — 
Ibn 'Umar. 

28. 'Abdul-'Aziz b. Ja'far b. Muhammad al-Khirqani in 
Baghdad — Muhammad b. Harun b. Buwayh — 'Isa b. 
Mihran — al-Hasan b. al-Husayn — al-Husayn b. Zayd. 

29. Abul-Faraj al-Sa'igh — al-Husayn b. Sahl — Ahmad b. 
'Umar al-Razi — 'Ali b. Salih — 'Imran b. Musa al- 
Dabili — his father. 

30. Abu Bakr al-Razi — Abu 'Uthman al-Adami — Ibrahim al- 

31. Abu Bakr al-Razi — Khayr al-Nassaj — Abu Hamzah. 

32. Muhammad b. Shadhan — 'Ali b. Musa al-Tahirti. 

33. Abu Bakr al-Razi — Sa'id al-Sufi — Ibn Yazdanyar. 

34. Abul-Tayyib al-Shirazi — Abu Bakr al-Tamastani. 



35. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Zakariyya— 'Ali b. Ibrahim- 
Ibrahim b. Shayban— Sahl b. 'Abdullah. 

36. Abul-'Abbas Ahmad b. Muhammad al-Nisawi— Ahman 
b. 'Ata'— 'Ali b. Ja'far— Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Suri— al- 
Musayyab b. Wadih. 

37. 'Abdul-Wahid b. Bakr— 'Abdullah b. Ahmad al- 
Naqid— Ahmad b. al-Salt— Bishr al-Harith. 

38. Muhammad b. 'Abdullah— Sa'id b. 'Uthman al-'Abbas. 

39. Muhammad b. 'Abdullah al-' Aziz— Yusufb. al-Husayn— 

Dhu Nun. 

40. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi— Ahmad b. 'Ali— al-Kattani. 


1. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi— Ibn 'Alawiyyah. 

2. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi. 

3. Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Ibrahim al-Nisawi— Ja'far b. 
Muhammad b. Nasir. 

4. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi— al-Husayn b. Hamdan— his 

5. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi — Ibn 'Isam. 

6. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi — Muhammad b. al-Hasan — 'Ali b. 
'Abdul-Hamid al-Ghudari. 

7. Muhammad b. Tahir al-Waziri— al-Hasan b. Muhammad 
b. Ishaq — Ibn 'Uthman, 

8. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Isfandiyar— al-Husayn b. 

9. Abul-Husayn 'Ali b. Muhammad al-Qazwini al-Sufi. 
10. Abul-Husayn al-Qazwini— Ja'far al-Khuldi— Ibn 

Masruq — Muhammad b. Bashir. 



11. Abul-' Abbas Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Baghdadi — 
Muhammad b. 'Abdullah al-Farghani. 

12. Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Khashshab — Ahmad b. 
Muhammad b. Salih — Muhammad b. 'Abdun. 

13. Abul-' Abbas b. al-Khashshab — Muhammad b. 'Ab- 
dullah al-Farghani. 

14. Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Khuld — Abu J a' far al-Farghani. 

15. Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Baghdadi — Ahmad b. 
Muhammad b. Salih — Muhammad b. 'Abdun — 'Abdus b. 

16. Abul-Faraj al-Warthani — Mansur b. Ahmad al-Harawi — 
Abul-Husayn Muhammad b. 'Ali al-Khwarizmi. 

17. 'Abdul- Wahid b. Bakr — Abu Bakr Muhammad b. 
'Abdullah al-Dinawari — 'Abdullah b. Muhammad al- 
Harith al-Sufi. 

18. Abul-Faraj al-Warthani — Ibrahim b. Ahmad al-Saji — 
Muhammad b. al-Husayn al-Khasib — al-' Abbas b. 

' Abdul- Azim. 

19. 'Abdul-Wahid b. Bakr— Muhammad b. 'Abdul- Aziz. 

20. 'Abdul-Wahid b. Bakr — Muhammad b. Harun al- 
Ansari — isa b. al-Ra'is al-Anmati al-Maruzi. 

21. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Ya'qub — Ahmad b. Muhammad 
b. 'AH— 'Ali al-Razi. 

22. Abu Ahmad al-Hafiz — Ahmad b. 'Ubaydullah al-Razi in 
Antioch— Ja'far b. 'Abdul-Wahid— Abu 'Ubaydah 
Mu'amraar b. al-Muthanna and Muhammad b. al-Harith 
al-Hilali — Malik b. 'Atiyyah — his father — Abu Rifa'ah 
al-Fahmi — Abu Bakr al-Siddiq. 

23. Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Ya'qub — Ahmad b. 'Ata' — 
'Umar b. Mukhallad al-Sufi— Ibn Abul-Ward. 

24. Abu Bakr al-Jurjani — Abu Bakr b. Muhammad b. Ja'far — 
Abu Bakr b. 'Abdul-Jalil. 



25. Abu Bakr al-Razi— Abu Muhammad al-Jurayri. 

26. Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Shadhan— Ja'far b. 

27. Abu Sa'id al-Razi — Abul- Hasan al-Mihlabi al-Baghdadi. 

28. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Isfandiyar in Damghan— 
al-Hasan b. 'Alawiyyah. 

29. Abul-Hasan b. Qatadah al-Balkhi— al-Qannad. 

30. Sa'id b. Muhammad al-Shashi— al-Haytham b. Kulayb. 

31. Al-Husayn b. Yahya— Ja'far b. Muhammad— 'Ali b. 
Musa al-Tahrani. 

32. 'Abdullah b. 'Ali al-Sarraj— 'Abdul-Karim b. Ahmad b. 
'Abdullah — al-Husayn b. Abu Sahl al-Simsar — Hasan al- 

33. Abul-Fadl Nadr b. Abu Nasr al-' Attar— Ahmad b. al- 
Husayn al-Harrani in Kufa— Hilal b. al-'Ala'. 

34. Abul-Fadl Nadr b. Abu Nasr al-'Attar— 'Umar b. al- 
Ushnani al-Qadi— Ibn Abul-Dunya— Ishaq b. Isma'il. 

35. Nasr b. Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Sufi— Sulayman b. Abu 
Salamah al-Faqih— al-Qasim b. 'Abdul- Rahman. 

36. Nasr b. Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Ya'qub— Ja'far b. 
Muhammad b. Nasr. 

37. Mansur b. 'Abdullah al-Khawass — al-Taflisi. 


1 . Mansur b. 'Abdullah— Abu Ja'far al-Anmati— Ibrahim b. 
Bashhar — Ibn 'Uyaynah. 

2. Mansur b. 'Abdullah— al-Qasim b. 'Ubaydullah in 
Basra — al Husayn b. Nasr — 'Ali b. Musa al-Rida. 

3. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Isfandiyar in Damghan— al- 
Husayn b. 'Alawiyyah. 



4. Abu Bakr b. Ahyad. 

5. Abul-Husayn b. Muqsim — Ja'far al-Khuldi. 

6. Abul-' Abbas al-Baghdadi — Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah al- 

7. Muhammad b. al-Hasan — Ahmad b. Muhammad b. 
Salih — Muhammad b, 'Abdun. , i 

8. Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Khalidi — Ahmad b. 
Muhammad b. Salih — Muhammad b. 'Abdun — ' Abdus b. 

9. Abul-' Abbas al-Khashshab — Abul-Fadl al-Nisaburi — 
Sa'id b. 'Uthman. 

10. Abul-'Abbas Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Muhammad b. 
Khalidi — Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Salih — Ibn Yazdanyar. 

11. Abul-'Abbas al-Makhrami — Muhammad b. 'Abdullah al- 

12. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Isfandiyar — al-Hasan b. 

13. 'Ubaydullah b. 'Uthman b. Yahya — Ja'far b. Muhammad 
b. Nusayr b. Masruq. 

14. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad al-Damghani — al-Hasan b. 

15. 'Abdullah b. 'Uthman b. Yahya— Ja'far al-Khuldi— 
Muhammad b. al-Fadl — Ahmad b. Shahqawiyyah. 

16. 'Ubaydullah b. Yahya — Ja'far — Muhammad b. al-Fadl — 
Ahmad b. Khalaf — Ahmad b. Shahawiyyah. 

17. Muhammad b. 'Abdullah b. Shadhan — Abu Bakr al- 

18. Abu Bakr al-Razi — 'Umar al-Bistami — his father. 

19. Abu Bakr al-Razi — Muhammad b. 'Abdullah — Ja'far b. 

20. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Isfandiyar al-Damghani — al- 
Hasan b. 'Alawiyyah. 



21. 'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. Isfandiyar al-Damghani— al- 
Hasan b. —Alawiyyah. 


1. Abu Sahl Muhammad b. Sulayman— Ibn al-Anbari. 

2. Muhammad b. 'Abdullah al-Razi— Ja'far b. Muhammad 

3. Abu Bakr al-Mufid— al-Husayn b. Isma'il al-Rab'i— al- 


4. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi— Ja'far al-Khuldi. 

5. Al-Sulami's grandfather. 

6. Abul-Husayn al-Farisi— Abu 'Ali al-Ansari. 

7. 'Ali b. al-Hasan b. Ja'far al-Rida al-Hafiz in Baghdad— 
Ahmad b. al-Hasan Dubays al-Khayyat— Sulayman b. al- 
Fadl al-Balkhi. 

8. Al-Rashid— al-Mahdi— al-Mansur— his father— 'Uk- 

rumah— Ibn 'Abbas— Jarir b, 'Abdullah. 

9. 'Ali b. 'Umar al-Hafiz in Baghdad— Yazdan al-Katib. 

10. Muhammad b. Tahir al-Waziri— Sa'id b. 'Abdullah al- 

11. 'Ali b. 'Umar al-Hafiz— al-Hasan b. Isma'il al-Qadi— 
'Abdullah b. Abu Sa'id— Harun b. Maymun— Abu 
Khuzaymah Ilban 'Isa. 

12. Abu 'Abdullah Muhammad b. al-' Abbas al-'Usmi— 
Muhammad b. Abu 'Ali al-Khalladi— Muhammad b. al- 
Hasan al-Ramli — 'Ali b. Muhammad al-Marhani — 
Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. Ishaqal-'Abbasi— 'Abdullah b. 
al-Hajjaj, who was a client (mawla) of al-Mahdi. 

13. 'Umar b. Ahmad b. 'Uthman— Ibn al-Anbari. 

14. Yusuf b. Salih— Ibn al-Anbari. 



IS. Abu 'Amr b. Matar — Ja'far b. Ahmad b. Nasr al-Hafiz- 
' Ali b. Khashram — Muhammad b. al-Fudayl. 


Abul-Hasan b. Miqsam al-Muqri' — Abul-'Abbas al-Katib 

Abu 'Abdullah b. Battah — al-Hassan b. Muhammad b. al- 
Hasan in Kufa — Muhammad b. al-Marzuban — 'Abdul- 
Rahman b. Muhammad — Muhammad b. Salih al- 
Qurashi — Abul-Yaqzan — Abu 'Amr al-Madini — al- 
Husayn b.'Abdullah b. 'Ubaydullah b. 'Abbas. 
'Ali b. Muhammad al-Qazwini — Abu Tayyib al-'Akki — 
Ibn al-Anbari — a student of Abu Yazid's. 
Abu 'Abdullah b. Battah al-'Ukbari in 'Ukbar— 
Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Thabit — Ahmad b. 'Amr b. 
Hamdun — at- Hasan b. 'Arafah — Hisham b. Muhammad 
— his father. 

Al-Mu'afa b. Zakariyya al-Qadi al-Jurayri in Baghdad — 
al-Hasan b. al-Qasim — Abu Ja'far — Sulayman b. Yahya 
b. Abu Hafsah. 

Muhammad b. 'Abdul- Wahid al-Razi — Muhammad b. 
'Ali b. 'Abduk — Zakariyya b. Yahya al-Nisaburi — 
Ibrahim b. al-Junayd. 

Abu 'Abdullah b. Battah — Abul-Husayn al-Harbi. 
Abu 'Abdullah b. Battah— Isma'il b. 'Abdullah b. al- 
'Abbas al-Warraq — Ja'far al-Sa'igh — Ahmad b. al- 
Tayyib — Abul-Fath al-Raqqi. 

'Abdul-Wahid b. Ahmad al-Hashimi— 'Abdullah b. 
Yahya al-'Uthmani. 







'Abdullah b. Muhammad b. 'Abdul-Rahman— I shaq b. 

Ibrahim b. Abu Hassan— Ahmad b. Abul-Hawari— Abul- 


Al-Husayn b. Ahmad b. Musa— Ibn al-Anbari— Ahmad 

b. Yahya — Ibn al-A'rabi. 

Muhammad b. Yahya al-'Usmi— Muhammad b. Abu 'Ali 

b. al-' Abbas— Ahmad b. 'Ali al-Kindi— al-Hasan b. 

Salim — Yahya b. Salim. 

'Ali b. Hamdan — Ibn al-Anbari. 

Abul-Hasan b. Muqsim in Baghdad— Muhammad b. 

Ishaq al-Marwazi — his father.